Plans also announced to provide online space for families to remember those deceased during Covid-19
RTÉ will air a special ceremony of remembrance today, as a mark of respect for all those who have died from Covid-19 at this time as well as those others whose funerals have been affected by the current restrictions.
Airing at 1755 on RTÉ One, the state-led ceremony Ireland Remembers was filmed at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance. A lone piper played Down by the Salley Gardens, while Defence Forces cadets presented five wreaths in the colours of the four Irish provinces, and the national colours, to five civilians directly involved in the national response to Covid-19. They each floated wreaths on the cruciform pool in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin’s Parnell Square, before observing a minute’s silence on behalf of the Irish people.
RTÉ is also working with funeral directors nationwide to curate a special website that will allow families to pay tribute to and remember loved ones who have passed away from Covid-19. The virtual memorial wall –www.rte.ie/irelandremembers – will go live on Wednesday, and will be be supported by special memorial segments on RTÉ One and RTÉ Radio 1.
Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, says: “Families and friends who have lost loved ones during the Covid 19 pandemic have come to programmes such as RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline expressing the added grief they have felt by being unable to hold traditional funerals or services of remembrance. RTÉ is to provide a simple online space where they can remember and pay tribute to those who have died.”
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors will let families know about the option to feature tributes and images of loved ones on the special memorial site.
Tom McGuire added: “Bereaved families can, through their funeral director, provide a picture of their deceased loved one together with a caption. This is an all-island project, and contributions will also be welcome from families who have lost members to Covid-19 abroad.”
The five civilians featured in the 1755 ceremony are:
Sandra is a General Nurse from Dundalk and works in the St Francis (Mount Oliver) Nursing Home in Dundalk Co, Louth. Sandra has a Master’s Degree in end of Life care.
Emma is a Fire Fighter / Paramedic with Dublin Fire Brigade. Emma is from Skerries and is based in Tara Street Station.
Joseph is 9 years of age and plays GAA with Na Fianna, a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in Glasnevin, on the Northside of Dublin. The GAA has organised a national network of voluntary support for the vulnerable and isolated through its Club Together initiative.
John is from Drogheda and is an Operations Manager with Aer Lingus with responsibility for loading and off-loading equipment. Aer Lingus has used its staff and aircraft to bring back vital medical equipment and personnel to Ireland.
Eamon is from Fairview, Dublin, and has been a volunteer with ALONE for the last 4 years, supporting the elderly, who have been advised to cocoon themselves during the crisis.