Painful Consequences of New Funeral Rules – Michael Lowry TD

The announcement by Government that no more than ten people can attend funeral services in places of worship and at gravesides or crematoriums will be very difficult for Irish people says Deputy Michael Lowry.


‘Irish people are struggling to adapt to many changes in their lives at this time. Some are easier to handle than others, but some go against the very things that make us uniquely Irish.


Not being able to gather to mourn our deceased family members and friends, or offer support to grieving families in the way that we have always done in Ireland is one of the most painful changes we face’ says the Deputy.


Deputy Lowry was speaking after contacting one of many grieving families by phone and feeling the frustration of not being able to shake their hands and offer words of comfort. The Deputy says that people depend on each other in times of grief and without the strength, support and company of others, grieving families may feel lost and alone. ‘But that is what grieving families are now forced to face’, he said.


‘Ireland has a very special and cherished way of holding funerals’ he says. ‘We listen daily to local media broadcasts to hear if a member of our community has passed away. We attend the home of the deceased person to be with their families and we go to the Funeral Home to shake their hands and let them know we share their grief. We attend removal of the deceased to their place of worship and we attend their funeral service and then we stand beside the bereaved as their loved one is laid to rest. We offer strength and support through our presence. It’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done, but we cannot do so at this time and it hurts’.


Deputy Lowry says he is very conscious of the fact that every person who has died in Ireland as a result of Covid-19 has died alone in many cases, or without the closeness of those they love. He acknowledges with great sadness that families cannot grieve together due to social distancing rules and that the funerals of those who have passed are attended only by their very closest family members.


Under the new rules announced today, all funeral services from now until restrictions are lifted will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people and, even as people stand at the graveside of their loved one, social distancing must be observed. Deputy Lowry says that he understands that mourners, funeral directors and celebrants must be protected from Covid-19 and that the new measures introduced are necessary to ensure that. ‘But, when we look back on this time in years to come, I believe that this will be amongst our saddest memories of this extraordinary time and one of the changes, albeit necessary, that will leave lasting scars on our hearts’ concluded Deputy Lowry.

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