Upfront fees being asked for in Tipperary before a burial can take place

Photo via canva.com.

Undertakers in the Tipperary Cahir Cashel district have been told that fees must be paid upfront for burials.

They were informed on Friday that in relation to Cormac’s Cemetery in Cashel, no interment would take place until all charges have been paid.

Speaking on Tipp Today, James Devitt of Devitt Funeral Directors in Cashel said that they would receive a payment for a funeral anywhere between three and 12 months after a funeral, as the money might come from the estate of the deceased, which can take time.

He said this is very unfair on mourners and also on undertakers.

“You cannot buy a plot, you cannot go into the council and say you want to buy my plot for when my day comes, you can only buy a plot when somebody passes away.

“The situation is that the council are trying to make us legally liable for those graves.

“Now, that’s not on Fran. We are a third party in this, as funeral directors, we’re the only third party being required to enter into a legal agreement with the council, which we will not do.

“I think it’s an absolute, total and utter disgrace.”

He added that this is a stress that families don’t need, especially after the past year and a half.

“After what families have been through, through a pandemic, to put this in front of them now, to say that your loved one cannot be buried until the fees are paid in advance, I think we’ve hit a new low Fran.

“What I would like to stress is that over the weekend, I’ve been extremely busy talking to colleagues and talking to elected representatives.

“None of the elected representatives were consulted on this, it was never brought up at a meeting and I have to compliment the reception we got from elected representatives, they’re all up in arms.”

According to the letter from Tipperary County Council, the Cashel Cemetery Bye-Laws state that ‘No order for Interment is to be issued until all fees and charges payable in connection with same have been fully discharged unless by prior arrangement.’

The letter cites ‘bad debts’ as the reason for this decision and states ‘fees that are not being paid in a timely manner’.

It was said that ‘this procedure is being implemented with immediate effect’.