Please browse our frequently asked questions below. If you need any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Whether a death is anticipated or unexpected, it is a very difficult time for those close to the deceased. It is also a time when many decisions need to be taken, often very soon after the death, and this can cause considerable stress.

Our practical guide, below, gives you a quick step-by-step overview of the sorts of things you may need to deal with.

Not all the points on this list will apply to your situation, but many will. If the deceased left specific instructions regarding preferences for funeral and burial arrangements, with a list of people to be notified, your job is that much easier. If not, you’ll need to consult other family members and look for address or phonebooks that can help you with your task.
First things first

If the family doctor is not present or out of hours, contact the local care doctor.  The doctor will decide if the local Garda Síochána or coroner needs to be called. In the case of sudden or unusual death, do not move anything until an official pronouncement of death has been made by the doctor. Contact the next of kin, especially those abroad who may have to book flights.

If the deceased held an organ donor card, inform the doctor of this immediately.

Notify others of the death, close friends, relatives, neighbours, employer and work colleagues. Most people in Ireland contact a funeral director for help with funeral arrangements.

Others to notify in the days following the death include:

  • state authorities e.g., if the deceased was in receipt of a pension or other form of social security payment or health service
  • insurance agencies and financial institutions
  • the deceased’s solicitor


If it was the deceased’s wishes to be buried, find out if a burial plot exists and determine its exact location. If you are using a local funeral director, they may help you with this.

Agree the following with the family:

  • Will there be a repose? If yes, where will this be held?  A family Home or Funeral Home
  • Will the body be on view (open or closed coffin)?
  • Content for the death notice.  Family Members etc.,
  • Decide on coffin?
  • For cremation determine if you want ashes scattered, buried or kept at home.,
  • Do you want flowers or charitable donations (mention in death notice)?
  • Decide on prayers, readings, offerings, music and structure of the service
  • Decide on who should be involved in the service and remember to ask them in good time.

You may need to cancel some, or all, of the following:

  • standing orders
  • newspapers & other journal subscriptions
  • milk deliveries
  • coal deliveries
  • telephone and broadband internet connection
  • mobile phone
  • bin collection
  • rent
  • TV & radio licence
  • postal services (or have them re-directed)

If the deceased wanted a non-religious ceremony.  Ask your Funeral Director for advice.


Arrange for someone trustworthy to look after the house while you and the family attend the funeral. This is an important measure, to guard against burglary.

Avail of help that others may offer in sincerity and remember to keep a note of who to thank. Jobs that may need to be done include:

  • Cleaning the house
  • Looking after the children
  • Looking after an elderly person
  • Watering plants at the deceased’s home
  • Taking care of the deceased’s pet


If you find yourself lost for words when faced with writing a eulogy, perhaps our editor’s advice on how to go about writing a eulogy will be of help. Please note that not all celebrants allow eulogies during the funeral service, so please make sure to ask for permission to deliver a eulogy.

Someone you love or care deeply about has died and you have been asked to say a few words at the funeral. It can be a daunting task, which is probably why it seems to be becoming rarer, but it can also be rewarding and fulfilling, not only for the person doing it but also for the family and friends of the deceased.

A eulogy, a word from Greek roots meaning roughly, ‘speak well of’, is a tribute to and a celebration of the life of the deceased and is usual spoken at the funeral. It should be short, three of four minutes at the most and can be sombre and humorous, sad and happy and even dramatic, often all at the same time.

Most of all though, a eulogy is a cathartic experience, for you and for the deceased’s family and friends. It is an opportunity to remember the good things about the life just ended and to face the emotions of sadness and loss, fondness and love and remembered joy. Here are a few tips to help you along.

  • A eulogy is not a biography, you don’t have to cover every aspect of the deceased’s life. Use your own memories and impressions and, if you feel you want to, ask family and friends for their stories, then name those who contribute. ‘Uncle Paddy told me.’.
  • Don’t forget that you’re not on your own. It’s not a theatrical performance (although it’ll probably feel like one) and the audience will be on your side. Make sure you have water to drink while you are giving the eulogy and take a moment to breathe deeply and focus yourself before you start. If you must stop in the middle to compose yourself, don’t panic. Remember that your audience are in the same emotional state. Give yourself a minute to recover your composure. Take a drink of water and carry on.
  • Choosing a theme, or two or three minor themes, will help you to focus. Perhaps the deceased’s character can be brought out by their love of a sport, or their involvement with children, brothers and sisters, parents, or a particular cause. If you can, try and show how their character influenced their choices in life.
  • A eulogy is not a whitewash of negative character traits, but it’s not an opportunity to point them out either. Few of us are saintly, but the eulogy should concentrate on what was positive in a life. Omit the bad things if you can, there’ll be plenty of discussion of those later. If it’s not possible to talk about the deceased without mentioning something negative, try and put it in context. ‘He fought his temper, but he was sometimes on the losing side.’.
  • Don’t be afraid to use poetry or quotations. This is remembrance from the heart, not great oratory, but do try to avoid clichés like ..’We are gathered here today..’, ‘..They never had a cross word..’, or ‘..She was a friend to everyone..’.
  • Think about the big achievements in the deceased’s life, the hurdles overcome, the milestones reached. And then add in the little things that made them who they were, their fondness for collecting beer mats, or a love of Marylin Monroe. Remember a time they were happy and a time they were sad and mention the people they were especially close to, giving, if you can, incidents or stories that illustrate that closeness.

Write your eulogy in a form that will help you to deliver it. For some people, it’s enough to put the major points on ‘prompt cards’ and then fill out the stories at the time. Other people prefer to write the whole thing out, word for word. Whichever you do, it is important to practise your delivery. If you write the speech out, try and write as you would speak and don’t worry too much about grammar. We rarely speak in proper sentences anyway and you should sound as if you’re speaking the eulogy, not reading it.

  • Make sure you get it right! If you are going to mention people, places or events that you don’t have first-hand knowledge of, check names, facts and details first. There is nothing more distressing to someone at a funeral for a loved one than to hear their name given wrongly in the address.
  • You can end with a farewell to the deceased or a piece of music or a reading to remember them by or that was important to them. If you choose music or a reading, you could explain to those who might not know why it was important and what it means.

William Cowper said that ‘Grief is itself a medicine’ and writing and delivering a eulogy can help the healing process for you and your audience.

Just remember, everyone’s on your side.

Finally, not all celebrants allow eulogies during the funeral service, so please make sure to ask for permission to deliver a eulogy.


The funeral director is there to guide you and your family through the most difficult time. We take care of all the arrangements and details, leaving you, your family and friends to concentrate on caring for one another. Here at R. Thompson, we:

  • Are there to help (at all times), 24 hours a day, every day.
  • Assist you to plan the funeral you want within an agreed & acceptable budget.
  • Arrange and supervise every aspect of the funeral you yourself have chosen to ensure all wishes are correctly carried out.
  • Provide for the care & transportation of the deceased & for appropriate preparation and presentation of the deceased.
  • Liaise directly, on your behalf, with all those involved in providing the various elements of the chosen funeral.
  • Pay, on your behalf, all third-party charges, fees and costs.
  • Assist you in obtaining a Death Certificate.
  • Provide advice in relation to obtaining financial supports or bereavement counselling

At a difficult time, arranging a funeral can be a trying experience for relatives and friends of the deceased. All the more so when it comes to making decisions about the funeral details themselves and the costs involved.

The cost of a funeral is one of the primary worries for anyone who assumes the responsibility for arranging a funeral. In this context, the specific role of the Funeral Director is to assist you to decide on a funeral which conforms with the wishes of the deceased and needs of the family and which is within the family’s financial circumstances.

As members of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors we are required by the Association’s Code of Practice to discuss funeral costs when the funeral arrangements are being made, subject to the family indicating that they would prefer costs not to be discussed at that time.

While arranging a funeral, the person responsible for making the arrangements will be informed about the various costs involved and left free to decide on the arrangements and the costs involved. When the funeral arrangements have been agreed, the Funeral Director will often provide the person responsible with a detailed breakdown of the specific charges making up the total funeral costs.

Accessing funds to pay for the funeral

Both AIB and Bank of Ireland allow the next of kin to access the deceased funds in advance of probate to cover funeral expenses.

These are payments to third parties (e.g. Grave purchase, grave opening, cremation charges, churches, newspaper notices, flowers, organist, soloist, catering) which are included as part of the agreed funeral arrangements and which the Funeral Director pays on behalf of the client family.

It is important to distinguish between these two types of charges. Both are costs covered or paid out by the Funeral Director according to your specific instructions and on your behalf. However, disbursements are charges payable to third parties for agreed services and usually require immediate settlement by the Funeral Director. The disbursement element often makes up a significant proportion of the overall cost of a funeral. Cost of grave purchase is a case in point, one that represents, unfortunately, an ever increasing cost element in a funeral.

Both AIB and Bank of Ireland allow immediate access to the deceased funds to help to pay for these costs

Embalming is a service both to the deceased and to the living, which is carried out by, trained and qualified Embalmers.

Embalming allows your loved one to be presented with natural colouring and ensures no other unpleasant changes which would otherwise follow soon after death.

Embalming also ensures that the body of the deceased is free from possible infection to the living.

Yes, absolutely. We have close relationships with crematoria in Cork and Dublin and can make all the arrangements to transport your loved one and family. We can arrange a service at the crematorium, either secular or of any religious denomination.

Arrangements can be made through the funeral director or the crematorium for the ashes to be strewn or buried in the crematorium garden of remembrance. You can attend this ceremony if you wish. Some crematoria allow the remains to be buried under a rose bush or tree, or placed in a niche.

Alternatively, the remains can be removed in an urn, which can be supplied by the crematorium or funeral director.

The family can then disperse them. If this is not on private ground, permission should be obtained from the appropriate authority. If the dispersal is to take place at a future date, either the crematorium or the funeral director can keep the remains in a safe place.

The remains may be buried in the family plot in the local cemetery.

Although the crematorium may have the facilities for carrying out more than one cremation at a time, each is carried out in a separate unit (or ‘cremator”), which is not physically capable of taking more than one coffin. The design of cremators means that all remains must be removed before the cremator can be used again. An identity card accompanies the coffin and cremated remains throughout every stage of the cremation process.

Every death in Ireland must be recorded and registered at a civil registration office. You should register the death as soon as possible. It must be registered within 3 months. You need a death notification form, which you can get from the doctor who attended your loved one. Normally, a close family relative registers the death. If there are no relatives available to do this, the death can be registered by anyone who has knowledge of the death. You should bring the death notification form and your own photo ID to a civil registration office. You can find your local office on the website, or call 1850 24 1850, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You need some personal details of the person who died, including their PPS number and their parents’ full names. You can usually get a Death Certificate from the registrar at the time of registering the death. You will not be charged a fee to register a death. However, there is a fee of €20 for a full standard death certificate. There is no fee for a copy for social welfare purposes but you need a letter from the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to confirm this. You can contact the DSP on 01 704 3000, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Sometimes a death is referred to the coroner. This happens when the cause of death is not known and cannot be certified by the doctor who attended upon the person who died. When this happens, you may have to wait some time before you get a death certificate. The coroner’s office gives you an interim death certificate, which you can use to notify the DSP, Revenue and other State or financial institutions.

From start to finish, the help and support you all gave us was beyond limits.  Our mother looked so peaceful and beautiful.  Our minds were put to rest when we saw how lovely and peaceful she looked on her final journey.  It is a credit to a wonderful team.

Pat M.

Martena, Niall, Michael, Jim, Noel  and all,   I just wanted to write to say thank you so much to you all, for your kindness and efficiency last week. My father’s funeral and cremation were beautiful and all went very smoothly.   Your kindness, respect and sensitivity was so much appreciated at this sad time.

Michelle C.

My family had the pleasure to meet John Thompson with Martina arranging my mothers  funeral.  It was not a sad occasion and they made the arranging so easy.  Memories were brought up, jokes were told, it was so comfortable, they were like old friends.. Thank you for all the kindness and ease you made us

Edith Crowley

I would like to thank Martina,  Michael Thompson and all his team, my mother looked like she did before she was sick.  It made is so happy, grateful and gave us joyful memories of her.

Susan Roche

Amazing people for amazing work.. From start to finish, would not deal with any other undertaker.

Gillian and Claire

Thank you, Michael and his team was very, very nice and understanding. He worked with us, with everything we needed or questioned. He made this time of sorrow go smooth.

Trish and Mary W

Michael, John, Martena, Jim, Noel and John Flynn.  Thank you for all of the advice and direction you were able to give my family and myself when organizing all the funeral arrangements. From start to finish we did not have to worry about anything, you covered everything and done all with the most professional manner


Words cannot express how I feel about Thompsons Funeral Home, First class, expertise, compassion and the ability to make you feel at ease at a terrible and tragic time in our life.  Michael and Martina could not have done enough, any time of the day or night. From talking to the repatriation company and getting

A Parent

On behalf of my entire family, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude for arranging for our father’s final journey home. You consistently insured that all details were addressed and solved every challenge that arose. At a time of great stress, you relieved us of those heavy burdens. We cannot thank you Michael

Walsh Family, Waterford

We would like to thank all the staff of Thompsons Funeral Home for their professionalism, kindness and help you provided to the family.

Rita & Family

Thank you Thompsons Funeral Directors for their sensitive  and professional handing of all our arrangements. It was very much appreciated.

Warren & Family

Michael, I would like to thank you and your team for your care, compassion and respect that you have shown us during our recent bereavement .  We appreciate all you have done for us.

Margaret B and family