Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How did you get involved in the funeral business?

A. Traditionally the Smyth name and the funeral business have gone hand in hand in Roscommon. Although we have no exact dates as to when the Smyth Family entered into the business, we know that it is now continuing into the fifth generation of Smyths and we have records dang back to the 19th century.

Q. What is embalming and why is it necessary?

A. Embalming was first carried out by the ancient Egyptians. Although methods have changes dramatically, the required end result remains the same. This is to retard deterioration and also to hygienically sanitise a body. The modern embalmer would use preservative chemical in treating the body. The reason why we embalm is that sometimes after death a body can deteriorate at an accelerated rate. This can be due to many reasons – medication may still be in the system, fluid retention or even warm weather will have an effect. This is not always the case so therefore we feel it is not always necessary to embalm.

Q. Does embalming change the way people look?

A. Although we do our very best not to alter a person’s appearance, sometimes we are told that the deceased person looks different. We feel that the change is someone’s features is partly due to body changes after death and also partly due to the embalming process, however, we do our very best not to alter a person’s appearance in any way.

Q. How much does a funeral cost?

A. This is a very common question and yet it is one that can not be answered in one line. The cost of a funeral varies dramatically depending on what people request. Every funeral is different, coffins come in a wide range of prices, removals and services all require different amounts of time, etc., etc. If you would like to know the exact cost of how much a funeral would be – then we recommend that you call to our office, give us the details of what your requirements would be and we would be more than happy to give a very close estimate without obligation.

Q. What happens if there are no funds available to pay for a funeral?

A. If a situation occurs where there are no funds available for pay for funeral expenses, then it is important to let the funeral director know this prior to making any arrangements. The funeral director can advise the family as to how an application can be submitted to the Department of Social Protection. The Department of Social Protection will assess the situation and if they agree, then they will assist as they see fit.

Q. Do you cater for people who wish to be cremated?

A. Yes, cremation is a very regular request and at Smyths we deal with all crematoria nationwide.

Q. Is cremation cheaper than burial?

A. Again, every funeral is different. It always depends on what is required. In general however, the complete cost of burial or cremation works out quite similar.

Q. How do I register a death and get a death certificate?

A. In order to register a natural death, the necessary completed form must be obtained from the patient’s doctor who is signing the form or the hospital where the person died. In the case where the deceased needs to undergo a post-mortem examination and result is natural causes, then the coroner will provide the necessary documentation. In a case where death is not from natural causes, then the coroner may deem it necessary to hold an inquest. At the inquest, the findings of the post-mortem examination will be discussed and if agreement is reached as to the cause of death, then the coroner will issue the necessary forms.

Q. Why is a post-mortem (autopsy) sometimes necessary?

A. Irish law states the cause of death must be determined in every case. If someone dies suddenly, then it is necessary for a doctor to perform a post-mortem examination to find the exact cause.

In certain cases a doctor may decide that a post-mortem examination is not necessary, but the family would like more information as to the cause of death, then a post-mortem examination can be requested. This is every person’s entitlement and the cost of this procedure will be covered by the local authority.

Q. Who is the local Coroner and how do I get in contact with them?

A. Contact details for all coroners in Ireland will be found at www.justice.ie under ‘Other Regulatory Functions’. More details about the coroners functions can be found at www.coroners.ie

If your question is not addressed here, then please call to our office and we’ll do our very best to answer any question.