Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to waive burial costs for children

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to waive burial fees for children.

Stock image of a grave with a rose

The motion was brought by UUP Councillor, Stephen Nicholl, after his party colleague Julie O’Flaherty brought a similar motion to her own local council following the death of her 2 year old son Jake.

A similar scheme is already in effect in England and Wales. Under the scheme parents will no longer have to meet the costs of burials and cremations, with these fees being met by government funding.

A Children’s Funeral Fund will only be considered in Northern Ireland when power sharing is restored.

Bringing the motion before Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Cllr Nicholl said, “This Council recognises the introduction of Government funding in England and Wales to cover the funeral costs of children. In the absence of a functioning government in Northern Ireland such action cannot be introduced regionally. We can resolve this until the introduction of a regional initiative.”

The motion was supported unanimously and it was agreed that Council will waive all costs normally associated with the provision of a grave for children under 18 years of age.

Cllr Lindsay Millar seconded the motion, “With the lack of a functioning regional government, local councils have a new opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our residents. This motion will not cause a great expenditure to the council but will truly make a difference to parents whose lives have been shattered by the death of a child, and I am glad our council has unanimously agreed to this.” 

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Paul Reid, “Nobody should be denied the right to bury their own child in a dignified and proper way. Parents who have lost a child are already facing tragic circumstances and the burden and process of cost shouldn’t be another. I am pleased that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is adopting this scheme, showing its commitment to the citizens of the borough.”