Saturday 22 April 2017

If you are only going for the 'day out', stay away from funerals

'Why do people go to a funeral if they have no sense of the occasion, or empathy with the person who has died and the family left behind?' Photo: Depositphotos
'Why do people go to a funeral if they have no sense of the occasion, or empathy with the person who has died and the family left behind?' Photo: Depositphotos
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

I was standing on the veranda of a hotel near Mullingar a couple of years ago looking out over Lough Ennell when two Englishmen came out for a smoke and I heard one say to the other: "I was talking to a guy in there - he said he's at the 'afters' of a funeral, he said funerals are far better fun in Ireland than weddings."

At the time I thought it was an amusing observation, but after an experience last week I'm beginning to wonder if Irish funerals have entirely lost their solemnity.

This thought occurred rather starkly outside a rather posh church in Dublin 4. The deceased was a good man with what might now be called a 'modern family', wife, their children, and the partner he'd spent his last years with after his marriage ended.

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