At this unprecedented time, the Irish Association of Funeral Directors has been inundated with calls from anxious bereaved families asking for advice about the burial and cremation of their loved ones and, more distressingly, the fitting goodbye which they feel their loved one is entitled to, irrespective of the current crisis. The Association is acutely aware of the worry people are feeling regarding the attendance and direction of funerals.
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.
Whilst the Association members have been doing their best to allay fears for families, the reality is that the Association must adhere to guidance from the authorities in how to handle a funeral in what is unchartered territory for us all.
Guidance form Health Service Executive (HSE) advises that funerals can be held privately behind closed doors with family and close friends can be present. There should be no public advertisement of funeral arrangements – in print or online – but death notices can be placed without arrangements. Families can advise friends and relations privately of funeral arrangements. There should be no provision for condolence book and pen at the funeral and public reposing must be discouraged as should funeral home gatherings. Family gatherings should be by invite only and attendance restricted to below 100. Social distancing must be maintained with no handshaking or hugging. Mourners can express their condolence online at www.rip.ie and send condolence or Mass cards by post
Speaking on behalf of Irish Association of Funeral Directors, Colm Kieran said: “We appreciate that we are in the midst of the most complex situation that the Irish people and our Association has ever faced and the protection of bereaved families, the public and our staff is our greatest concern.
“At this time we are bound to conduct funerals to the extent advised by the government and HSE until directed otherwise. We do not wish to alarm the public or add to the trauma that grieving families may be suffering nor does this mean that the standard of our care or quality of our service is diminished. We are more mindful and sensitive than ever to the pain of bereaved families who are trying to grieve and say goodbye under these restricted circumstances and we are working tirelessly to comfort those in their anguish.”
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: https://www.hse.ie/eng/.