Cremation is an alternative to burial when someone dies. All Christian denominations and most other religious sects around the world permit cremation. Some religions (for example, Orthodox Judaism and Islam) do not.
There are a number of crematoria in Ireland (see 'Where to apply' below). Access to these cremation facilities is not restricted to people living locally. Anyone may arrange for a cremation to take place in any of these crematoria.
If you wish to arrange a cremation you should contact a funeral director who will ensure that the statutory (or legal) requirements are met. Before cremation, forms must be signed by a medical referee who must be satisfied that the attending doctor viewed the body before and after the death, completed the medical certificate and the necessary form stating that there is no reason why the body should not be cremated. The attending doctor is required to examine whether or not the death should be notified to the coroner.
There may be difficulties arranging an immediate cremation if the cause of death is unclear. A coroner may in this case complete a Coroner's Cremation Certificate which will allow the cremation to go ahead. In some cases, a Garda Superintendent has the power to stop a cremation.
Similar to burials, it is usual to hold an appropriate service in your local church or place of worship. The coffin is then removed to the chapel in the crematorium grounds, where a short committal service takes place (similar to that at the graveside). The mourners take their seats in the chapel. The coffin is then brought into the chapel and the service begins. At the end of the service, the coffin is moved into the committal room and the mourners leave.
The form of the service depends on the religion of the deceased. You can make other other arrangements however if you wish.
After the committal service the coffin is taken from the committal room to the crematorium building. The body, along with the coffin, is cremated on the same day as the service. Crematorium regulations require that only combustible materials are used in the manufacture of coffins for use in cremation. The Code of Cremation Practice requires that the coffin is placed in the cremator in exactly the same condition as that in which it arrived at the crematorium.
Only one coffin is cremated at a time. The only exceptions to this are in cases where it is requested that both coffins are cremated together; for example a mother and baby, or twin children.
The ashes are available 24 to 48 hours after the cremation. You can make arrangements through the funeral director or the crematorium for the remains to be buried in the crematorium's garden of remembrance or placed in a niche in a columbarium wall, if there is one. (A columbarium wall is a structure containing small spaces where you can place cremated remains in urns, etc.).
Alternatively, the ashes can be removed in an urn which can be supplied by the funeral director or the crematorium. You can then bury the remains in the family grave or disperse them. If the dispersal is not on private ground, permission should be obtained from the appropriate authority, for example, the local authority.
There is no significant difference between the cost of a burial and a cremation, unless a new family grave has to be purchased for the burial. The funeral director's charges are usually the same.
Where to apply
Irish Association of Funeral Directors
Mespil Business Centre
Tel:0818 935 000
Tel:(01) 830 5211
Newlands Cross Crematorium
Tel:+353 1 459 2288
Tel:(049) 436 2200