18 April 2023 News
Bereaved families from across Northern Ireland who lost loved ones to Covid-19 are to gather next week for the livestream of the third preliminary hearing of ‘Module 1: Resilience and Preparedness’ of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.
Module 1 will examine the resilience and preparedness of the United Kingdom, assessing if the pandemic was properly planned for and whether the UK was adequately ready for that eventuality.This module will touch on the whole system of civil emergencies including resourcing, risk management and pandemic readiness. It will scrutinise government decision-making relating to planning and seek to identify lessons that can be learnt.
The ‘Northern Ireland Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice’ campaign group will host the event at The Resolution Centre, The Boat Building (49 Queen’s Square Belfast, BT1 3FG), 10am – 4pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.
Families unable to travel to Belfast, meanwhile, are invited to gather at the Dungannon offices of PA Duffy & Co Solicitors (7 – 9 Market Square Dungannon BT70 1AB) – the solicitors firm instructed to represent the collective voice of the campaign group, advocating at every stage the unique position and vital perspectives of Northern Irish bereaved families.
The ‘Northern Ireland Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice’ campaign group is being led by two bereaved daughters: Brenda Doherty from Newtownabbey, whose 82-year-old mother, Ruth Burke, the fourth person and first female to lose her life to Covid-19 in March 2020, and Portadown woman Martina Ferguson, whose mother, Ursula Derry, died as a result of the virus in January 2021 at the age of 88.
Brenda explained: “The campaign has been growing and we are continuing to bring everyone together with our legal team this time for the third preliminary hearing for Module 1 to discuss how we secure justice for families like ours who lost loved ones to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.”
Martina continued: “The bereaved families are continuing to honour those we have lost by making sure that everything is done to keep people safe in the future.
“Nobody wants to be in our position but, seeing as sadly so many of us in Northern Ireland find ourselves missing a loved one to Covid-19, we will come together to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.”
Families who have lost a loved one to Covid-19, or would like to join the campaign group, can do so by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 028 8772 2102.