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Cllrs say it’s time for ‘inhumane’ funeral restrictions to be lifted

June 10th, 2020 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllr Alan Coleman says more people are allowed into hardware shops together than into funerals.

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COUNCILLORS have called for the Government to ease the restrictions on families attending funerals during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) raised the issue at a meeting of the local authority.

‘At the moment you are only allowed to have 10 family members attend a funeral which is outrageous. At the same time you can have multiples of that going into a hardware shop to buy a few screws,’ Cllr Coleman told The Southern Star.

‘In fairness to families who have lost ones over the past two months they have gone through an awful lot and maybe this restriction was necessary during the height of the pandemic but this should have been one of the first rules to be relaxed.’

He said that in most cases he is only talking about 20 to 30 family members that includes partners, parents, siblings and grandchildren.

‘Most churches bar the smallest ones would have no problem accommodating this. You have this awful situation where some family members have to stay outside of the church during a funeral and I think it’s inhumane.’

His motion was fully supported by councillors at the meeting and he said that people are outraged that it wasn’t one of the first restrictions to be relaxed.

‘It should have been in phase one and I don’t know how the Government missed it. I was also glad to see that the Irish Hospice Foundation are also calling for a relaxation on the numbers attending funerals.’ He said it’s also very hard on undertakers who have to face families in the most difficult of situations and tell them to pick the 10 people who they want to go to the church.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) supported the call: ‘Funerals are very sad and a tough time for families and the rules on attending should be immediately relaxed.

‘I’ve seen two or three cases locally whereby families had to make a decision on who could attend go into the church and it’s not nice at all,’ he added.

Cork County Council agreed it would write to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to request a relaxation of the rules on those allowed to attend funerals.

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