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Too heavy a load

• The practice of shouldering coffins in this country should come to an end, given the risk of injury to the shoulder and back.

People are drafted in to shoulder a coffin that could be travelling down a road for as much as half-a-mile or more. The risk of injury is all too apparent and serious pain can result days after a coffin has been lifted.

Most coffins can weigh anything from 150kg to over 200kg if the deceased is heavy. This amount of weight is dangerous and undoubtedly leads to serious orthopaedic problems. It is time for people to be realistic about shouldering coffins and be reasonable about the distance they have to be carried and consider ending the practice altogether?

Maurice Fitzgerald
Shanbally, Co Cork

Irish Independent