A Portadown woman who lost her mum to Covid-19 had said an upcoming conference for bereaved families is a “really important step forward”.
Martina Ferguson is one of the leading figures in a campaign to get justice for relatives who died during the pandemic.
Her much-loved mum Ursula Derry died in hospital, aged 88, in January 2021 after contracting the virus in her care home.
Before her mother’s death, Ursula had campaigned for relatives to be allowed in to see their loved ones in care homes.
The conference, organised by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Northern Ireland, will be held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast, on Saturday, March 4 from 11am until 1pm.
It will bring together bereaved families and their legal representatives to discuss the progress of the UK-wide Covid Public Inquiry, which will look into the handling of the pandemic in Northern Ireland.
There will be a Q & A session following a talk from the legal panel.
Martina and fellow bereaved daughter and campaign lead Brenda Doherty, from Newtownabbey, released a statement ahead of the event.
They said: “This is a really important step for our campaign; our campaign has been growing and this is now the second time we have been able to get everyone together with our UK and NI legal teams to discuss how we get justice for families like ours who lost loved ones to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland Bereaved Families for Justice has recently been granted core participant (CP) status for Module 3 of the UK Covid Inquiry, which means we have a legal role within the inquiry for all three modules to date now (1, 2 and 3).
“Our CP status will allow us to see evidence provided by Government and public authorities, and guide the questions asked during the inquiry, especially with Module 1 public hearings starting very soon.”
They added: “The bereaved families are honouring those we have lost by making sure that everything is done to keep people safe in the future.
“Nobody wants to be in our position, but seeing as sadly so many of us in Northern Ireland find ourselves missing a loved one to Covid-19, we will come together to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.”
Anyone who has lost a loved one to Covid-19 is welcome to attend.
Any bereaved families who would like to join the groups should send an email before March 4 to northernireland@