Alliance representatives condemn those who appear to have broken COVID guidelines at funeral

COVID-19 John Blair Rachael Ferguson

Alliance representatives have condemned those who appear to have broken COVID guidelines at a republican funeral in Derry-Londonderry.

John Blair MLA and Councillor Rachael Ferguson were speaking after the funeral of Eamon McCourt on Monday (January 25). Under current guidelines, only 25 people are allowed at funerals here. However, pictures from social media appear to show more than that, with police saying ‘a significant number of people’ had gathered.

“I understand the grief of any family mourning the loss of a loved one, particularly in the current circumstances, and my sympathies go out to them,” said Mr Blair.

“However, by this stage the COVID regulations are well known by all. Those who turned up – according to police, a significant number – in apparent breach of them did so in complete disregard of the rules, rules which most others have stuck to.

“I will be raising at the Policing Board questions around what conversations took place prior to the funeral with the organisers and what decisions were taken around enforcement of regulations. Compliance with the regulations are necessary from all of us to help us get through this pandemic.”

“It was incredibly disappointing to see so many people on the streets of Derry-Londonderry for this funeral,” added Councillor Ferguson.

“Our city and our district are seeing the COVID numbers coming down and now we see such a major breach, putting themselves and others in danger. Having so many people at a funeral, especially after speaking to police in the first instance, is a slap in the face to every person who has made sacrifices during this pandemic, particularly when saying goodbye to loved ones.”