Page last updated at 06:22 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 07:22 UK

Visitors invited to city cemetery

Belfast City Cemetery
People have been invited to Belfast City Cemetery this weekend

People who have not been to Belfast City Cemetery for years are being invited to come and visit the graves of friends and family this weekend.

The city council has organised a visitors' day this Sunday between 1000 BST and 1500 BST.

Staff will be on hand to do genealogical searches to help those who do not know where their family members are buried.

Visitors who need this service are asked to phone in advance.

A spokesperson said it would also help if people could give the date of death or burial.

Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Hartley who has helped organise the day said: "It is a wonderful opportunity for people to visit the cemetery and attend to family graves or those of friends.

"We hope particularly that anyone who, because of political or other circumstances, has not visited for some years will come along.

"We have made major improvements to the cemetery in recent years to make it more accessible and attractive to visitors and there will be a very warm, welcoming atmosphere on the day.

"Belfast City Cemetery is an important site holding the graves of major historical figures and people can also find out about these but the main thrust is to allow families to attend family graves."

Belfast City Cemetery Manager Michael Largey said his staff had been working hard to make the cemetery as attractive as possible for the occasion.

"We have carried out substantial improvements to the cemetery already and have long term plans in place to get the site back to its former glory," added Michael.

"We want to encourage people to return to maintain old family graves. We can provide advice in regards to maintenance, assist in remedial work, we want people from all sections of the community to come on the day."

The telephone numbers for help with genealogical searches are 028 9031 9629 and 028 9032 3112.

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