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 Sunday.
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 Milltown Cemetery.
“The diocese will continue to dialogue with those families to resolve this issue,” he said.