Belfast City Cemetery: memorial agreed for babies

Babies who died shortly after birth or who were stillborn will be commemorated by a sculpture in Belfast City Cemetery with a sculpture carved by the artist Charlotte Howarth.

The Sculpture will be a baby sleeping on a bed of leaves. After the initial proposal of a rock with a bonsai tree was turned down, Belfast City Council approved the design last January after the original plans were met with opposition from families of babies buried there.

A mother who buried her son at Belfast City Cemetery said “the initial design did not represent the babies buried there. At the time the babies were buried, the families didn’t have a say in it, my son was just taken away and I didn’t see him once he dies.”

The families in the focus group are now delighted with the new design and look forward to seeing it in the coming months.

The sculpture will be hand carved and is expected to be placed in the cemetery in spring or summer 2019.

Ms Howarth, the sculptor appointed to this project said: “It’s always a really sensitive thing working with families on these types of jobs”. She added, “When you so this as a job, you create the piece, it goes up and then you move on to the next one.”

“It is the families who have to live with the piece forever.”