The profession of Funeral Directing has changed dramatically in Ireland over the past 100 years. Throughout a lot of the 20th century arranging a funeral would involve many stages. The first call would be to the local nurse to say that a death has occurred and would she come and lay out the remains. After that it would be a stage by stage process – the local draper would supply the habit, the grocer would supply the coffin (and some of the refreshments for the house), the publican would be called on to deliver the drink and the man with a horse drawn hearse would be called on to do the necessary removal.
Even though this worked well for many years, people began to expect a more professional service. Smyths commenced in the early years as hearse hire people. In the early 1900’s when motor vehicles became commonplace on Irish roads, Smyth’s bought a motor hearse. This first motor hearse had the registration number DI 77 and even today we do our very best to have the number ‘77’ on as many of our vehicles as possible.
In the early motoring years, Smyth’s also had motor vehicles that were used as hackneys/private hire cars. Today, we still have a small executive chauffeur driven limousine and wedding car service.
Slowly, as the years passed, the funeral business became more of a specialist profession. Now in the 21st century we pride ourselves on the service we provide. Not only is this service as professional as we can make it, it is also very personal as we deal with each family on a one to one basis.