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Statement from the DUP Group, Belfast City Council, on the Independent Investigation Relating to Events at Roselawn Cemetery on 30th June 2020.

“This report confirms the marked differential in what was permitted for one family compared to eight other families using Roselawn Crematorium that day.

Sinn Fein claim they sought no special treatment but we saw in Andersonstown, earlier that day, their reckless disregard for Covid restrictions with a large-scale event which was an insult to all those families which have held restricted funerals for their loved ones over the past year.

That Andersonstown event only increased the sense of injustice over the difference shown to one family over eight others at Roselawn. This Independent Investigation has established a timeline of conversations and events over that period and has provided an explanation for what occurred. However serious questions remain and we have requested a meeting with the report author to seek clarification on these matters.

The report concludes that “the differential in arrangements for the cremations that day was avoidable, unnecessary and simply wrong”. We welcome that Council officers recognise that mistakes were made.

All the grieving families that day should have been afforded the same access and opportunity to benefit from the relaxation of restrictions which was afforded to the Storey family and should not have had to endure their private grief being exacerbated by becoming a matter of public discourse. We continue to stand with them.

Sinn Fein’s action that day undermined the public health message on Covid restrictions and portrayed an attitude of one rule for them but another rule for everyone else.”