Inquiry in Northern Ireland to highlight Every Story Matters on eve of Belfast hearings

  • Published: 29 April 2024
  • Topics: Every Story Matters, Hearings

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry’s Module 2C hearings begin in Northern Ireland on Tuesday 30 April 2024. 

The hearings are an important stage in the Inquiry’s investigation into decision making and governance in each nation of the United Kingdom. These hearings follow those for Module 2A and 2B which were held in Scotland and Wales earlier this year. Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings in Belfast or watch them online through the Inquiry website.

Module 2C, ‘Core UK decision-making and political governance – Northern Ireland’, will look into core political and administrative governance and decision-making. It will include the initial response, devolved government decision making, political and civil service performance as well as the effectiveness of relationships with the UK government and local and voluntary sectors.

The Inquiry is also encouraging people in Northern Ireland to share their pandemic experiences so we can truly understand the human impact and learn lessons from it. Go to to find out how to share your story.

Find out more about the hearings, the benefits of sharing your story with the Inquiry and how to do so in our film recorded this week in Donaghadee, Co. Down.

Standing next to a beautiful Covid memorial – a bench of colourful stones painted by local residents during the pandemic to pay tribute to those working in the NHS – the Inquiry Secretary, Ben Connah, said:

The Inquiry has a UK-wide remit. We are looking at what happened in all four nations, and it’s really important that we come here to Northern Ireland to hear what happened and also meet people who had different experiences during the pandemic.

Inquiry Secretary Ben Connah

Ben also explained how the Northern Irish public can participate via Every Story Matters, which will support the UK Covid-19 Inquiry’s investigations and help the Chair of the Inquiry make recommendations for the future.

Every Story Matters will provide evidence about the human impact of the pandemic on the UK population. It’s an opportunity for those affected by the pandemic to share their experiences online without the formality of giving evidence or attending a public hearing, as Ben explained.

Every story shared with us is valuable. It will help us to understand how the pandemic affected Northern Ireland and what the lasting impacts are.

It’s now the Northern Irish public’s chance to play their part in the Covid-19 Inquiry. Help us to build a picture and understand exactly how the pandemic affected you, your families, your homes and your loved ones, so that the UK is better prepared for next time.

Inquiry Secretary Ben Connah

Joining the Inquiry Secretary in Donaghadee was Peter Livingstone from Belfast, who lives with a learning disability and struggled with loneliness and isolation during lockdowns, unable to participate in his usual social activities. He explained:

For someone with a learning disability like me, lockdown was very hard. Not being able to see friends and family, not being able to go to my clubs or activities, because it was very stressful to be able to get out.

Peter Livingstone

Peter also endorses Every Story Matters:

Everybody should have a chance to speak out - to share their experience of Covid and how it affected their lives and mental health.

It is very important for everybody to share their stories on Every Story Matters, so it gives a chance for people like me to be heard.

Peter Livingstone

Module 2C held its first Preliminary Hearing on 2 November 2022 and held further Preliminary Hearings in 2023, with oral evidence hearings starting Tuesday 30 April 2024.

The timetable for the first week of Module 2C public hearings is now available. Timetables for the following week are published every Thursday on our website.