Time to bury tradition?

Time to bury tradition?

14 August 2013

Ireland is currently undergoing change in the way Irish funerals are conducted, with old traditions being replaced around the country  with more personal touches. Earlier this week, this trend was condemned by Bishop Smith of Co Meath, who referred to the changes as the ‘dumbing down’ of Catholic Funeral services.


Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith sparked outrage when he issued a new directive earlier this week, warning priests against ‘dumbing down’ Catholic funeral services. He advised, ‘Eulogies should not take place in the church’ , and that ‘songs’, ‘poems’texts’ and even books  of condolence, that are not of Christian content, are also out of place in the church and should therefore be banned.

John Keohane of Keohanes Funeral Directors Cork, the first new funeral directors in Cork for over 40 years, says that while the old traditions are important, families must be allowed to make funerals personal. “In my experience, it seems people want to make funerals more personal and give their loved ones a send- off that is appropriate, but also fitting to them as an individual. Eulogies and books of condolence play a vital role in this. I have helped families put together personal eulogies that are unique yet still appropriate for the church. To put a ban on eulogies would simply take away the personal element of a funeral which I think is vitally important for the family and friends of the deceased”.  


Keohanes has noticed other subtle changes to Cork funerals that are becoming more and more popular. The use of the website RIP.ie to announce deaths is fast becoming as popular as death notices in the paper, as people can access it from anywhere around the world. In addition to this, the replacement of the removal and funeral, with just one service now, is also becoming popular.

“ These changes are not just unique to Cork” says John Keohane. “They are happening all over Ireland, and they are simply a reflection of the changing times we live in. Funeral directors have to keep up and adapt accordingly. For instance, I have been asked on numerous occasions to record funerals, and provide a DVD of the service for relatives who live abroad and were unable to attend. While this might seem outlandish to some, it is a useful service and can mean a lot to people living out of Ireland.” John concluded.


Keohanes Funeral Directors is an independent family owned and run business. Set up by John Keohane in 2012, Keohane’s Funeral Directors provides excellent care when families need it most.

Keohanes Funeral Directors is based on Copley Street in Cork City and has a parking facilities with disability access certification .


For more information please visit www.keohanescork.ie