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Cemetery deal not agreed by all families
11 December 2009 --
A firm of Belfast solicitors has requested a copy of an "agreement" reached over
the future of a controversial plot of land in a west Belfast cemetery.
Madden & Finucane Solicitors last night said it had been "in correspondence with
solicitors representing the Trustees of Milltown Cemetery" regarding an
agreement reached this week between the cemetery, the Catholic Church, the
Ulster Wildlife Trust and relatives of those buried in the land.
Relatives of babies buried in the plot, which was sold to the Ulster Wildlife
Trust by the Church in 2000, have been carrying out weekly demonstrations at the
Falls Road graveyard for the past 14 months calling for the land to be taken
back within its perimeters.
Earlier this year Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor publicly apologised for
selling off the land and also later blessed the area during the annual Cemetery
This week it was revealed that the entire 5.9 acres would be transferred back to
Milltown Trustees by the Ulster Wildlife Trust.
It was also agreed that the entire piece of land would be blessed and a
Commemorative Garden built.
However, last night, Madden & Finucane Solicitors issued a statement saying it
represented a number of families affected by the issue who "were not party to
any agreement reached".
It is understood the 20 or more families - some of whom are now believed to live
in the US - are not members of the Relatives for Milltown Babies group.
"We represent a number of families who were not involved in the discussions with
the trustees of Milltown Cemetery, nor were they party to any agreement,"
solicitor Peter Madden said.
"These families have yet to see a copy of the agreement.
"When a copy of the agreement is made available to these families we will
arrange a meeting to discuss the issues.
A spokesman for the Catholic Church last night said the Down and Connor diocese
had been involved in an "ongoing process of consultation with all families and
relatives of all who have been buried in this section of the Bog Meadows of
"The diocese will continue to dialogue with those families to resolve this
issue," he said.