PLANS are underway to open a Garden of Reflection for families bereaved as a result of miscarriage, neonatal death or still birth in Fermanagh.
The local Council has provisionally signalled its support for a request by charity Sands Northern Ireland to open the memorial area, possibly at Cross Cemetery in Enniskillen.
Sands works with in partnership with the health service to offer a range of services for grieving families, supports research into the causes of baby deaths, and promotes awareness of baby loss. In England, the charity had created a number of reflective spaces for families to remember the children they have lost.
The charity has now asked to work with the Council to create such a contemplative space locally.
“Engagement with a local Sands representative from Lisnaskea has indicated the charity is seeking the creation of a quiet area for contemplation and reflection which may include a planted area with benches and a simple piece of artwork,” said a the Council’s director of environment and place, John News, in a report due to be delivered to its environmental services committee tonight (Wednesday).
“The group wish to ensure that any space created is open and accessible to all sections of the community, and in that regard recognise the value of provision within an existing Council cemetery location, such as Cross Cemetery.”
Mr News noted Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council had opened a similar Garden of Reflection for bereaved families in May 2019.
The director added that the development of the space at Cross Cemetery would be carried out in consultation with “relevant parties” such as burial plot owners and the local community.
Stating Sands had only requested one location within the Council district, Mr News said the Council could also examine a similar assessment be carried out at Greenhill in Omagh, if councillors wished.
The report also noted that while some funding would be needed to carry out the project, the fact the Garden of Reflection would be located within an existing cemetery would minimise costs for both construction and maintenance.
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