In Ireland, you don’t just attend funerals of people you know – there is an unspoken rule that you attend funerals of those closely related to people you know too. Whilst this has changed during COVID times with many people viewing ceremonies on line, whether we move in the direction of the likes of Britain where invitations are received and RSVP’s sent returned to be seen. In the same way that Irish weddings are unique, Irish funerals can draw large crowds into the hundreds, with the ceremony culminating in a great queue for mourners to shake hands and personally express their sympathy to the family or the deceased.
Whilst there is no requirement to use a funeral director it would be very unusual in Ireland not to. Indeed many parties such as crematoria may not be willing to deal with you unless a funeral director is involved. In the unusual circumstance where a death takes place abroad or where the body is to be repatriated from Ireland then there may two funeral directors involved, one in each country.
For a funeral there are essentially two parts, which do not have to happen in the order below
- The ceremony
- The disposal of the remains
In Ireland there are a number of points that are very unique to us
- Burial / disposal of the remains typically takes place within 2-4 days from death (at the higher end in cities and towns).
- The wake still remains popular and anecdotally may also be increasing in popularity in towns & cities.
- Embalming is quite common. It may be as high as 90-95% yet is rarely ever discussed in any detail and the body may be viewed before the fluids have had a chance to work.
- Cremation continues to grow in popularity especially where access to a crematoria is close by or where cemeteries are distant or have expensive graves.