We are living in very challenging times and are hugely grateful for the work carried out by funeral directors across Northern Ireland who have maintained in letter and in spirit the Department of Health guidance in relation to funerals during the pandemic.
It can be hard, especially when bereaved families see large scale funerals that attract huge media and political attention. It is only natural for families to ask: “If they can, why can’t we?”
Equally, funeral directors who have diligently abided by the rules have watched in frustration and anger as others have not, fearing a loss of competitive advantage and again making it almost impossible to advise and guide families to abide by the regulations.
Members of the National Association of Funeral Directors must abide by the Funeral Director Code, which insists they follow Government guidance and regulations, and which the vast majority of members have been doing for the safety of the families they care for and their staff. They have acted honourably and responsibly and we thank them for that.
As restrictions ease and life gets back to normal, the numbers of people allowed at a funeral, and at commemorative events, will rise.
But COVID-19 is still among us and people are still dying every day. This remains a public health crisis and for the good of everyone involved including families, funeral directors, venue officials, it is vital that families and those working across the funeral profession continue to abide by the Department of Health guidance and regulations.