Ward calls for funding for nationwide Covid memorials

16th June 2021 - Senator Barry Ward

A Fine Gael Senator has called for national funding for a nationwide series of memorials to remember those who have died from Covid-19.

The Government should provide funding for memorials in every town or village across the country, to commemorate those who have died during the global pandemic of the last 18 months, Senator Barry Ward has said.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Ward said, “Covid is the biggest natural disaster in this country since the Famine. It is entirely appropriate that we as a Parliament say to people that we recognise what they have gone through. There should be an appropriate mechanism for them to memorialise the members of their community who died as a result of this disease.”

To date, 4,941 people have died as a result of Covid-19 in Ireland, which is only a fraction of the 3.81 million Covid-related deaths across the globe.

“I believe we owe it to the family and friends of those who passed away during the pandemic to remember them in a similar way to how we have remembered those who died during the Famine, albeit belatedly, and the First World War”, said Senator Ward.

Senator Ward concluded: “The details could be discussed by a committee but I would like us to come together and support the idea of a fund being established for each local authority to have a committee to establish these memorials and to have something permanent in each community, town and village, around the country to remember what happened in 2020 and 2021 – and hopefully in those two years alone.”

The Leader of the Seanad, Senator Regina Doherty, welcomed the suggestion and it will now be forwarded to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for consideration.

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