Northern Ireland news

Lord Mayor asks public to take part in candle lit reflection to remember those lost to Covid

Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl is asking people to light a candle in their home tomorrow, December 22, in memory of a loved one who has died during the pandemic.

BELFAST's Lord Mayor is asking people to pause for a moment of quiet reflection this week to remember those who have died during the pandemic.

Kate Nicholl will light a candle in the window of City Hall at 8pm tomorrow evening as part of a virtual reflection to send "light and love" to bereaved families.

Department of Health figures show that 2,945 lives have been lost to Covid-19.

However, this figure is expected to rise in coming weeks as the more infectious Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain.

The first citizen is asking the public to take part in the event by lighting a candle in memory of a loved one and posting a picture on social media, with the person's name and using the hashtag #KnowTheirNames.

"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," Ms Nicholl said.

"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 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."

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