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Family of Belfast murder victim Emma Jane McParland resolves legal battle over funeral arrangements

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Emma McParland

Emma McParland

Emma McParland

Mourning relatives of a woman allegedly stabbed to death by her son in south Belfast have resolved their legal battle over her funeral arrangements.

The family dispute developed after Emma Jane McParland, 39, was found dead at her Haywood Avenue flat on April 22.

Her 21-year-old son, Jordan Kennedy, has been charged with the murder.

Ms McParland's mother, Donna McParland, launched High Court proceedings, seeking to have the body released into her custody.

She wanted to have a cremation at Roselawn Cemetery, with the ashes then to be scattered over the grave of the dead woman's grandparents.

But the Coroner's Service refused to release the remains after a disagreement with other family members emerged.

A legal case was brought in which the Emma Jane McParland's daughter, Chelsea Kennedy, was the named respondent.

According to court papers Ms Kennedy instead wanted her mother to be buried in a Kennedy family plot at Roselawn.

An urgent hearing was listed before the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, in an bid to secure a judicial declaration.
Instead, however, a compromise was reached following negotiations.

Under the terms of the agreement the body is to be released into Donna McParland's custody on Tuesday for a two-day wake at her home in Belfast.

She has given an undertaking that members of the Kennedy family will be permitted to attend the wake at agreed times.

Her daughter's remains will then be taken to Roselawn Cemetery following a funeral ceremony on Thursday.

Burial will take place in a new plot, with graveside prayers and all relatives permitted to attend.

With Chelsea Kennedy to be given the deeds to her mother's grave, she also gave an undertaking on what other family members are allowed to be buried there.

Sir Declan praised all sides for coming to the resolution.

He said: "I know this has been difficult, but I want to thank the parties, and commend them for reaching an agreement.

"I hope this will provide some comfort to everybody involved."

Belfast Telegraph