Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77

Choosing Your Final Resting Place

Final Resting Place: Options in Ireland

How do you want your body to be cared for after your death? When it comes to your final resting place, many more options are available to people in Ireland today than in the past, so thinking about where you would like your body or ashes to remain can be comforting to some. Below are some of the options available in Ireland:

Traditional Burial and Cemetery

The deceased person is usually embalmed, placed in a casket, and interred in a graveyard.

Certain graveyards have a special section which allow for burial in a shroud, as is necessary for certain religious rites such as in Islam.

‘Green’ Burial  

The deceased person is not embalmed nor any other chemicals used on the body after death. They placed in a biodegradable coffin or shroud, without any non-biodegradable elements such as varnish, plastic or metal. They are then buried just 4 feet deep. This aids in a healthy decomposition of the body. Trees or simple wooden markers are used to identify the burial plot. Certain graveyards are designated ‘Green’ burial grounds and adhere to these standards.

Scattering, burying, or retaining ashes 

After death, your body can be converted into ashes using either cremation (burning the body) or resomation, also known as water cremation (using a water-based solution to speed up the natural processes of decomposition). You have many options afterwards for what you would to happen with ashes. Many people will take ashes to a special place for scattering. We advise that you consider the impact of the ashes on the local environment, particularly at sites of historical/archaeological importance.

You may also inter the ashes in a burial plot, much like in a traditional graveyard burial.  Or, ashes can be placed in a Columbarium, a building or structure often located within a cemetery. Some of the ashes can be incorporated into pieces of jewellery for those would like to keep a loved one physically close.  

And of course, urns can store ashes safely at home. Some artists even offer bespoke urns, but there are many beautiful options in different sizes, in case different members of the family would like to keep some of the ashes with them.  

An image of a headstone on private property. Burial on privately owned land is one of many burial options in Ireland.

Burial on Privately Owned Land

Burial on privately owned land is not entirely easy or straight forward, and must be planned in advance with your local authority. An Environmental Health Inspector will have to visit the proposed site and deem it safe. See Citizens Information for more information on home burials.

Final Resting Place: Explore More Options

This video from The Open University encourages us to think about the different places we put our dead — from ancient tombs and cemeteries to family mausoleums and green burial sites — and how societies celebrate and remember them the world over.

Make Your Preferences Known

If you have a preference for how you’d like your body to be cared for after you die, make sure you let those close to you know. You can record your wishes and preferences for your after-death and funeral arrangements in the Think Ahead Planning Pack.