Trees and flowers tribute to Antrim and Newtownabbey’s Covid victims

A memorial to those in Antrim and Newtownabbey who have lost their lives to Covid is to be created in the borough.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:57 am

Councillors decided at a meeting on Monday evening that a tree will be planted at Antrim Civic Centre and Mossley Mill, in Newtownabbey and flowerbeds are to be planted in Whiteabbey and Antrim in their memory.

The recommendation was proposed by Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster who said: “I am delighted we are going to see this in our borough.”

The proposal was seconded by Deputy Mayor Councillor Noreen McClelland who added: “I think this is something really good for our borough. It has been a very difficult time for so many people.”

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Mayor Cllr Jim Montgomery led the borough in marking the National Day of Reflection last month.

Recently, they met with Jordanstown woman Brenda Doherty whose mother Ruth Burke was the first woman in Northern Ireland to die from Covid.

Last week, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council lit Antrim Civic Centre, Ballyclare Town Hall and Mossley Mill yellow on National Day of Reflection, (March 23) to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown and Covid-19 death in Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Jim Montgomery and the Deputy Mayor presented Brenda with a yellow wreath in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives to the disease.

Brenda had approached the council for support to mark the anniversary of the first death and lockdown in Northern Ireland.

Cllr McClelland said it had been “a privilege to meet Brenda last week”.

Speaking at the anniversary event, Brenda said: “I am very grateful for the support the Council have shown me. There are lots of families like mine that did not get to have a proper celebration for the lives lost for many illnesses not just Covid-19. We must also remember those who have lost their jobs and businesses as a result of this pandemic.”

The Mayor commented at the time: “I have seen the devastation of families affected by Covid-19 and other bereaved families that have lost love ones and have been denied a proper mourning,

“We must also remember the thousands of front-line staff who also lost their lives whilst saving others. The impact of Covid-19 will be felt for many years to come and we must all remain united in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 so we can look forward to brighter days ahead.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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