Members of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors are speaking out to reassure bereaved families that burials and cremations of their loved ones are continuing to be carried out with the utmost dignity and respect, during what they have described as the most difficult time for arranging funerals that they have ever experienced.
Paula Townley-Crosbie of P Townley & Sons in Drogheda said: “Over 30 years we have built a reputation for our professionalism and the personal service we provide to local families but we have had to completely change every aspect of how farewells are conducted, in order to mitigate risk and to protect grieving families, the whole community and our staff.
“As members of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors, P Townley & Sons follows stringent policies and is adhering to the advice set out by the Association from HSE guidelines and, when I explain to grieving families that we are adhering to these guidelines, the majority of families completely understand the reason why we cannot offer them the type of funeral that they are typically familiar with.
“In this past week I have received messages personally from families who said they were dreading the thought of not giving their loved one the expected traditional send off, to say that in fact the funeral had actually passed off better than they could ever have imagined in these circumstances. One person said that taking the gathering right back to immediate family was not as difficult to deal with as they had thought it would be. They sat and reminisced, told stories and shared some precious family time and are reassured that we will arrange a gathering of their large circle of family and friends to celebrate their loved one at a memorial service on a later date.”
Speaking on behalf of Irish Association of Funeral Directors, Colm Kieran said: “We would appeal to the public to work with us during this crisis as our staff are on the frontline, leaving their families at home to do their level best to provide the bereaved with the excellent level of quality and caring service for which our members are renowned. We would ask the public to respect our staff and assist us in adhering to the HSE and Government guidelines in order to protect all concerned.
“We are more mindful and sensitive than ever to the pain of bereaved families who are trying to grieve and say goodbye under these restrictions and we are working tirelessly to comfort those in their anguish.”
Members of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors handle almost 80% of funerals across the country every year and have a reputation for being trusted and for treating grieving families with the utmost professionalism and respect. As the situation is changing daily, IAFD member firms throughout Ireland are continuing to care for bereaved families and ensure that funeral arrangements are carried out with dignity and to the highest standards.
For further information, please visit: www.hse.ie.