We’ve provided a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding our services and other activities related to funerals. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to give you more information and clarify any of your concerns.
Here are some of our frequently asked questions:
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, honouring, and remembering the life of
a person who has passed away. While specific customs, traditions, and practices
differ across different cultures and religions, all funerals serve the key purpose
of giving the bereaved a special time and place to say goodbye and find comfort
and healing in one another.
A funeral director is a professional who specialises in all aspects of
funerals and related services. They provide support to the family, guide the
arrangement of visitations and funeral ceremonies, prepare the deceased
according to the family’s wishes, and ensure that everything goes according to
plan. They also arrange for the removal and transportation of the deceased
throughout the process, and assist families with any legal or insurance-related
paperwork they might need to file. They’re experienced at recognising when an
individual is having an extremely difficult time coping with a loss, and can
provide extra support and recommendations for professional help if needed.
The person who has legal authority to make funeral arrangements is the Executor – the person named in the will to administer the estate.
However, the responsibility can pass by mutual agreement to the next of kin or family friend. It is important to understand that whoever signs the authorisation for a funeral service to proceed will be financially responsible for the funeral and the only person with the authority to make arrangement with the crematorium or cemetery.
This depends on whether the death was sudden or expected.
If expected, the deceased will have been attended to by his or her GP recently. The first/initial call should be made to this doctor who will be required to visit the home to confirm death has occurred.
If calling the GP out of hours, an alternative number may be given to contact a locum doctor. The locum will visit to confirm death has occurred. Your GP should then be contacted the following morning to advise that death has occurred. Once death has been confirmed the funeral director should be called.
If unexpected, the first call should be made to the deceased’s G.P. who was attending during his or her last illness. The GP may advise that the family contact their nearest Garda Station, as the Gardaí may wish to contact the Coroner.
If contacting the GP out of hours normally a number for an out of hours/locum doctor will be given; once contacted they will arrange for a doctor to call to the house. The funeral director should be contacted at this stage.
In the event of any death at home the family may also wish to contact a Minister of their faith.
Normally a doctor will be in attendance or called to confirm death. The doctor and or staff will confirm to the family whether or not a post mortem examination will be required. In most instances, this will not be necessary and the family are free to telephone their funeral director to make funeral arrangements.
First, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel such as the Gardaí/Police and Emergency Medical Services.
Then just give us a call, and we will work with you to make the necessary
arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as
If you wish to have a traditional church service you need to decide whether to have a removal to church the day preceding the funeral followed by burial next day or a removal to church and burial on the same day. We will discuss both options with you.
A funeral can and should be a celebration of life. A ‘good’ funeral is one that is authentic, creative and meaningful in relation to the person who has died and those who are grieving. You can personalise the funeral service with readings, hymns or even the location. Our experienced staff will guide and assist you to arrange the type of service you want.
Yes. There are other options available such as a civil ceremony/humanist service and we will discuss these with you.
No. Once preparation and embalming has taken place viewing is normally available over an extended period of time.
Absolutely! Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and
incorporating their loved ones’ hobbies, activities, interests, and unique
requests into meaningful and memorable services. Don’t hesitate to make a
request because you think it might be too “out there” — we’re honoured to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved
one’s individual life journey.
Yes. Traditionally many families carry the coffin into and out of the church. Six people are normally appropriate.
Of course. We will assist you to arrange donations to your nominated charity and include your request in the death announcement form.
All cemeteries and crematoriums are open on Saturdays.
With very few exceptions Sunday burials for Catholics in Kerry do not take place. Sunday burials within the Church of Ireland are allowed.
All cemeteries allow burials on bank holidays & crematoriums are open.
We will advise in all cases.
A viewing—also known as “visitation,” a “wake,” or “calling hours”—can involve an open or closed coffin, and is seen as a vital part of the grieving process. Having their loved one present often helps family and friends to accept the reality of their loss, especially for those who may not have seen him or her in a while. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell is an important step on the road to closure and healing.
You should use your judgment to determine whether your child is old enough to
comprehend death and whether attending the funeral will be meaningful to them.
It’s important for children to be allowed to express their grief and share in
this important ritual. If you bring young children, explain beforehand what
they will see and experience, and make sure that they know the importance of
being on their best behavior. If your child becomes cranky or noisy, remove
them promptly to avoid disturbing those who are mourning.
What you’ll say depends upon whether or not you’ve already had contact with the bereaved. If you’ve already offered your condolences, or attended the
visitation or service, simply greet the bereaved warmly and express an interest
in their well-being. If this is your first meeting since the death and you’re
in a public setting, it’s best not to bring up the death directly. Instead, say
something like, “I understand these must be difficult days for you,” and
perhaps ask about when might be a good time to visit, or suggest that you meet
The grieving process doesn’t end with the funeral, and it will take time for
the bereaved to heal. The family will need your support for months to come, so
make sure to check in on a regular basis. Drop a note, make a phone call, and
continue to invite them when you make social plans; they’ll let you know if and
when they are ready to participate. Reach out to the family on special
occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, especially during the first year
following their loss.
We recommend embalming in all cases. We believe that the care and presentation of the body is one of our most important functions as Funeral Directors. We have a fully qualified embalming team to achieve the highest possible standard of presentation available.
Embalming combines the sanitation and preservation of the body. This is achieved by the injection of a treated solution into the circulatory system. This returns a more natural appearance and also prevents the spread of bacteria and advancement of deterioration
Embalming is not required by law, but we highly recommend it if you want a
viewing. Though it is possible to have a viewing without embalming, certain
conditions have to be met. If you want to know more, feel free to give us a
Embalming is a process used to temporarily preserve a loved one’s body. The
process of embalming involves using preservative chemicals as well as cosmetics to make them look as they were when they were alive. It also can be used in instances of visible illness or damage to return a loved one to their normal appearance for a viewing.
A post mortem (sometimes called an autopsy) is an examination carried out by a pathologist after a death where is necessary to establish the medical cause of death.
The majority of deaths do not require any post mortem because the medical cause of death can be certified by a doctor who has been treating the deceased in the months prior to the death, i.e. a GP or hospital doctor.
Yes. When a post mortem examination is required, there would normally be a delay of 1-2 days. This may be extended if death occurs during a weekend or bank holiday. We will liaise with the hospital and Coroner and advise the family.
Yes. Autopsies and organ donation do not affect your ability to have an
No, usually burial is more expensive. We will advise you of comparative costs.
Cremation is accepted by accepted by all Christian denominations, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and Parsees.
Muslims, Orthodox Jews and the Greek Orthodox Church do not allow cremation.
A columbarium is a place for the interment of urns containing cremated remains. They’re often located in graveyards, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain numerous small compartments, or niches, designed to hold urns.
As with burial you can have a religious or a non-religious service or indeed no service at all prior to the removal of the deceased to the Crematorium.
Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to do so. Choosing cremation only
indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and
doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way.
Whether you’d like to have a visitation beforehand, arrange a funeral service
before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy
to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.
It depends, but generally it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
The service at the Crematorium must be carried out within the time allowed by the Crematorium.
Family and mourners gather at the crematorium at an arranged time.
The coffin will be placed in a position for everyone to view. The chosen service will commence. It may include hymns, songs, prayers and eulogies.
Towards the end of the service, curtains will be drawn and the coffin will be hidden from view. If you would prefer the coffin to remain on view until everyone has left this can be arranged.
The coffin is taken into the crematory where the nameplate is checked. An identity card is attached to the cremator where the coffin is placed and is kept with the cremated remains until they leave the crematorium. The coffin is placed into the cremator and when finished, the cremated remains are taken from the cremator, cooled, and placed in a cremulator which reduces the remains to ashes. These are placed into an urn/casket available for collection.
Cremation is a regulated process with strict procedures that are followed to
ensure services are held to the highest standard possible. In addition
to following these standard procedures, crematoriums may keep a metal disk with a unique ID number with your loved one throughout the process, including during cremation. Each cremator is only large enough to take one coffin. When a cremation has finished the cremated remains are placed into an individually identified container.
The cost of a funeral will be determined by you and your family.
Funeral costs are broken down into two areas. The costs charged by the Funeral Director will include the cost of the coffin selected, transportation costs, and preparation of deceased and professional services.
The costs will also include payments made to third parties, such as cemeteries, crematoria, gravediggers, newspapers and radio stations on your behalf.
The amount you spend on a funeral should be in line with what you or the estate can financially afford.
In all cases we offer families a detailed quotation of the estimated costs of their chosen funeral.
We normally wait until you are ready to collect a funeral bill & never send one out in the post unless we have been instructed to. Most accounts are settled within 30 days. Payment of our account can made at any of our locations, by forwarding bank draft or cheque by post, by bank transfer or by calling us with credit card details.