Belfast Telegraph

More Northern Ireland councils could waive burial fees for children

By Rebecca Black

Two more Northern Ireland councils are to consider waiving a burial fee for grieving parents.

It follows a call from a Portadown woman who lost her two-year-old son.

Ulster Unionist councillor Julie Flaherty (40) proposed that the £52 cost of opening a grave be waived for grieving parents, at a meeting of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council's environmental services committee, receiving unanimous support.

She said she was driven by the experience of losing her only son, Jake.

Now, two of Ms Flaherty's party colleagues, at Belfast City Council and at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, have brought similar proposals.

Belfast councillor Chris McGimpsey said he had been moved by hearing his colleague speak about her experience.

And Mid and East Antrim Council is also set to hear a similar proposal after backing from Ulster Unionist councillor Stephen Nicholl.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May created the Children's Funeral Fund for England after being moved by the "dignity and strength" of Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris, who lost her eight-year-old son, Martin.

It brought England into line with Wales where Ms Harris' campaign saw the removal of fees for funerals for those under the age of 18.

Belfast Telegraph

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