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Charity calls for limits on funerals to be relaxed



File photo

File photo

File photo

A charity has asked the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to ease funeral restrictions.

The call comes after a survey showed almost one in 10 believes being with extended family and friends is a key part of the grieving process.

However, this may not be possible, with strict funeral restrictions and family members being unable to physically attend the funeral of a loved one amid the lockdown.

A survey conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes for the Irish Hospice Foundation found 68pc think the pandemic has made society rethink the way it deals with death and bereavement.

More than half of respondents said they struggle to know what to say to someone who is bereaved or how to support them - rising to 77pc among those aged under 34.

Nearly a third said they believed there are not enough supports available, while 27pc said they are adequate.

A tenth of respondents thought we talk too much about death, while 34pc said we don't talk about it enough.

The Irish Hospice Foundation has now written to Nphet urging the easing of the current strict funeral restrictions.


Chief executive Sharon Foley said: "We know that grieving in isolation has resulted in doubtless suffering for many individuals and families.

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"That is why we have written to the National Public Health Emergency Team calling on them to increase the number of people allowed to attend funerals while maintaining social distancing and other public health measures."

Ms Foley said the future of dying and bereavement can be shaped after the pandemic.

"There is now an opportunity to equip all of our state services - including health and social care - to meet the challenges presented by the aftermath of this pandemic," she said.

"All of us in the voluntary and statutory sectors, along with the wider public, now have a responsibility to shape the future of dying, death and bereavement in Ireland.

"One of the main challenges is a whole-of-government response to co-ordinate, replicate, progress and embed innovative, evidence-based solutions to issues which arise in care of the dying and the bereaved."

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