Petition for the Humane Easing of Restrictions on Funerals - Sarah O'Reilly, Aontú

I the undersigned call for the easing of the harsh restrictions on attendance at Funeral Services.

The death of a family member is one of the rawest emotional times that any one of us will experience. Funerals are incredibly difficult at the best of times but in Covid they are a disaster for many.

One thing we are good at in Ireland is supporting a loved one in a time of death.  But at the moment, attendance at a funeral, even for a family member can be a lottery. Priests are forced to turn family members away at the doors of Church.

This is having a devastating effect on bereaved family members most especially the young. Several studies point towards the importance of funerals for the processing of grief.

Many families who lost loved ones at the start of Covid, who were unable to give them a proper funeral are now approaching the first anniversary. Yet they are still unable to come together to celebrate and remember their loved one’s lives.

This is particular cruel given that Churches are often the biggest buildings in each town. Indeed 10 people would be lost in most Churches. Social distancing is easy within a church, ever second pew remains closed off with people encouraged to sit at the end of each seat.

The government limits 10 people to a funeral in the largest building while people are allowed to queue with dozens of other people for products such as wine and crisps in smaller shops in the same town. It does not make sense.  

In reality is that at many funerals people are gathering in their dozens outside Churches in an uncontrolled fashion but are barred from the Church, which is the most controlled setting.

We are calling for the Government to publish a detail plan now on easing restrictions on funerals so that heartbroken bereaved families can grieve in peace.