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Death in US, bringing remains to Ireland for burial

  • 08-10-2021 3:45pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ leck


    I've a friend whose sister died in the US some days ago. She died of Covid in hospital. The deceased wish was to be buried in Ireland and had bought a plot and erected a headstone some years ago, so there is no questions about her wishes, although one family member feels under the circumstances it would be more practical to cremate her. The others want to respect her wishes.

    My friend and her sister (both in Ireland and neither are US citizens) are executors. They are finding it hard to navigate the process. I understand there is another family member and a friend in the US who can act in their stead since they can't be present.

    So far my friend is relying on a local undertaker here in Ireland to communicate with a funeral director in the US to organize the funeral, but they've been told that it will take 3-4 weeks to bring the remains home.

    Two questions - (1) for anyone who's gone through the process recently, is that a reasonable delay to expect? (2) Is there any need to contact the local consular official (anyone else?) in the state where the death occurred to expedite the process or do these things just follow a set plan? (3) Does the fact that it was a Covid death make a difference?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭ HildaOgdenx


    The attached link looks quite useful, as a good starting point, especially about notification requirements.

    https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/death/after_a_death/bringing_a_body_to_ireland_for_burial_or_cremation.html#



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ leck


    Thanks. that seems to cover the basics. Presume the two undertakers between them cover all of that, but will give family an idea of questions to ask to see where things are in the process.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ leck


    Very interesting. When it comes to transportation of remains, I'm guessing family will have to go with option 2 "embalmed remains in a sealed coffin".

    I think generally all remains are embalmed in the US, but Covid might have changed that. And the death is in a state with high numbers of cases, so that might mean there may be a problem in having the body embalmed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,033 ✭✭✭ gipi


    The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust is a charity which helps with the process of bringing deceased persons home to Ireland.

    It may be useful for the family or the funeral directors to contact them for advice and assistance.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ leck


    Someone else mentioned that but I think it's intended more for help in cases of sudden/unexpected death and for help with funeral expenses as well as the practicalities.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,119 ✭✭✭ wandererz


    It doesn't hurt to call them up and ask for advice rather than random strangers on the internet.

    They would have experience and would at least be able to advise.

    I found out that my best friend had to be cremated because he had radiology/ radio therapy due to cancer. The answer was that his body had radioactive materials due to the treatment and that there was a chance that it would get into the ground. It wasn't a problem when he was alive.

    In the situation we are living with at the moment and over the past 2 years, would it not make more sense to follow one of the cremation options provided in the doc i provided or does the deceased's wishes supercede everything else?

    Was this a resident of Ireland or a resident of the USA?

    Where does it stop?

    A diseased body can harbour the disease and has to be handled throughout and transported between countries.

    Simply having paid for a grave site & a headstone is no assurance.

    Is it not possible to cremate the body in the US & subsequently bury the remains in the grave here in Ireland?

    That reduces the chances of infection throughout the chain.

    It remains to be said how the person caught covid at this late stage and whether vaccinated or anti-vaxxer etc.

    Apologies, but the US has a now got a very good setup. The outliers are the anti-vaxxers.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭ HildaOgdenx


    The deceased wish was to be buried in Ireland and had bought a plot and erected a headstone some years ago, so there is no questions about her wishes, although one family member feels under the circumstances it would be more practical to cremate her. The others want to respect her wishes.

    Just in relation to that, the burial plot and headstone could still be used, as planned, in the event of cremation.

    I know, in the local graveyard, for example, there are ashes interred in a plot, where a member of a family, died in the U.K. The ashes were buried there and the name is on the headstone, along with the names of other members of the family.

    It may well prove to be the most practical solution, and might expedite the process, as presumably repatriation is further complicated, in this instance, by the cause of death.

    (I hope that doesn't sound unfeeling, because it's not intended to be.)



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ leck


    Just coming back to this thread. The remains were finally brought to Ireland. It took four weeks from the time of death. Even just the flight took place over three days - three separate flights and long delays between them as some airlines won't carry human remains.

    Agree that cremation in the US, followed by interment of the ashes in Ireland later, would have been a much more practical solution. But the family wanted to honour the wishes of the deceased.



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