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Macabre Halloween window display removed from Tyrone care home after complaints

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‘Distasteful’: The Halloween display featuring headstone with ‘RIP’ written on it has been taken down at Dungannon Care Home

‘Distasteful’: The Halloween display featuring headstone with ‘RIP’ written on it has been taken down at Dungannon Care Home

‘Distasteful’: The Halloween display featuring headstone with ‘RIP’ written on it has been taken down at Dungannon Care Home

A care home has taken down a Halloween window display featuring a gravestone with 'RIP' on it after complaints.

One relative was left in tears after seeing the "distasteful and insensitive" display in the window of the Four Seasons facility in Co Tyrone.

After concerns were raised, Dungannon Care Home staff removed it, and stressed that there was no intention to cause upset.

A number of relatives spoke out after seeing the display.

While understanding that Halloween symbols are colourful, some felt the image went too far in light of the high level of deaths in care homes as a result of Covid-19.

One man said: "On arrival at Dungannon Care Home a relative was left in tears by the display.

"This was followed by a number of others reporting similar experiences, and indeed an individual who lost a loved one in a different care home to Covid-19 caught sight of the image while walking by.

"He described becoming upset and felt more thought should have gone into the display. At present many things trigger sadness, even by accident.

"But with some consideration, this instance could have been avoided.

"We are in the middle of a terrible pandemic, which has been particularly prevalent in care homes.

"Many people are suffering the loss of loved ones, and to have a headstone with 'RIP' pictured in a prominent position in a care setting was distasteful and insensitive."

Another passer-by was Mid Ulster councillor Clement Cuthbertson, who within hours of seeing the image was contacted by upset relatives and members of the public.

He said: "I was completely shocked to see this window display. It is so distasteful at a time when all care homes are fighting Covid-19. It is really disrespectful to many in the community that have lost loved ones to the virus in care home settings. I am at odds as to how the management of Four Seasons have let this happen."

Four Seasons said: "Each year the staff throughout all our homes put up decorations which reflect key calendar dates and these Halloween scenes are designed to keep our residents entertained and engaged.

"We are very proud of the efforts our colleagues make on behalf of residents.

"This particular item has been removed, and it would never be our intention to cause distress or upset."

Dungannon Care Home was at the centre of controversy recently after it emerged some residents were taken on a minibus trip to a sensory garden during the first lockdown in early May.

A serious adverse incident investigation was announced by the Southern Health Trust after relatives complained social distancing would not have been possible and expressed concerns over personal protective equipment.

Belfast Telegraph


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