Crematorium discussions move ‘welcome’

Martin Reilly.
Martin Reilly.

SDLP Derry and Strabane Council Group Leader Martin Reilly has welcomed progress on plans for a crematorium serving the north west of the island.

Colr. Reilly was speaking ahead of a meeting of the Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee tomorrow, during which a paper on the issue will be presented and permission sought to begin formal discussions with several other councils on securing a crematorium. At present the only crematorium in the north is in Belfast.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Colr. Reilly said: “This proposal for a crematorium in the north west has been a long time in the planning and I welcome this paper.

“Working alongside other councils in the northwest, we aim to deliver a crematorium which will answer a demand from local families who currently have to travel to Belfast or Cavan to cremate those who have wished to have their funeral this way. The current situation where grieving families have to travel long distances, sometimes in poor inclement weather, lacks compassion and I’m glad to see officers from a number of councils have reached the stage where a Strategic Outline Case can be commenced.”

If approved on Wednesday, the proposal “takes a step further and could alleviate the pressure on our council’s cityside graveyard where space is limited,” Colr. Reilly said, adding: “I recognise that attitudes towards cremation has changed over time, and I hope that the planned discussions with other councils can proceed and bring this regional facility into operation as soon as possible.”