Una Mullally: Time to commemorate those who died in the pandemic

A day of remembrance a year after our first Covid-19 death could offer catharsis

Citizens in Codogno in northern Italy attend the unveiling of a memorial for Covid deaths on February 21st, exactly a year after the the town recorded the first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in Europe. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

Citizens in Codogno in northern Italy attend the unveiling of a memorial for Covid deaths on February 21st, exactly a year after the the town recorded the first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in Europe. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

March 11th marks the first reported death of a person in the Republic with Covid-19. We’re all feeling the grind of being a year into an extraordinary crisis. But no one can be feeling this more than the Covid-bereaved, who every day are experiencing a grief born from the ultimate loss. 

Maybe I’m missing something, but I haven’t heard anything about a national memorial event. I haven’t seen any plans for an all-Ireland day of remembrance. I haven’t read about what’s going to happen in Croke Park, or the Garden of Remembrance, or at Dublin Castle. Speaking to friends in the live events sector or those who produce large-scale events for broadcast, I am not aware such a production is happening. Perhaps one will materialise. Maybe a large occasion of commemoration is in the final planning stages and being kept under wraps. Maybe it will bring us all together again in a moment of reflection, and offer a pause in the present maelstrom of frustration and anxiety.

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