Belfast’s First Citizen is asking people across the city to pause for a moment of quiet reflection this week to remember those who have died during the pandemic.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Kate Nicholl, will light a candle in the window of City Hall at 8pm on Wednesday as part of a virtual reflection to send light and love to people who have lost a loved one in recent months.
“Christmas is very special for families, a time when people come together and celebrate; but for those who have lost a loved one and who are grieving, it can be a particularly difficult time of year,” said Councillor Nicholl.
“The ongoing pandemic has made it difficult to see family and loved ones with restrictions impacting on how we have been able to interact with those we love the most, and in particular our older relatives.
"It has not been easy for families who have lost a loved one during Covid and so as we approach Christmas, I would like to take the time for a moment of quiet reflection, to light a candle and remember those people who have died, and to acknowledge that loss, together as a community.”
Anyone who wishes can take part in the virtual reflection by lighting a candle in memory of a loved one and posting a picture on social media at 8pm on Wednesday, with the person’s name and using the hashtag #KnowTheirNames.
Ms Nicholl added: “The virtual world has become a part of our every day lives; it has helped foster a sense of community and helped people to feel supported during lockdowns and throughout.
" Anyone who wishes can take part in the virtual reflection and I hope that it will send a message to people who have lost someone that they are not alone, and that we recognise their pain and their loss.”
The death of one further patient in Northern Ireland who had tested positive for Covid-19 was announced by health officials yesterday.
Another 2,148 cases of the virus were also notified by the Department of Health.