Local undertaker says shortage of priests could lead to wait for funerals

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A Tipperary undertaker says people may soon have to wait longer to say goodbye to their loved ones due to the ongoing shortage of priests.

The Association of Catholic Priests says ‘lay-led’ ceremonies will become more common in Ireland.

Dublin’s Archdiocese is among those to already introduce training programmes in preparation.

Vincent Murphy from McCarthy’s Undertakers in Fethard says he expects funeral traditions to change.

“At the moment if I get a call for a funeral today it’ll be possible to have a funeral tomorrow. That is not going to last – that’s going to change. You’ve got an aging clerical population – there aren’t the younger priests coming up to fill the gaps. So I think you might have to wait a few days, maybe in the future – in ten years’ time you might have to wait a week or two.”