Limerick councillor expresses concern over funeral costs

Cllr Daniel Butler
Cllr Daniel Butler

A LIMERICK county councillor has expressed grave concerns over the rising cost of funerals.

According to Cllr Daniel Butler, most people pay somewhere between €3,000 to €5,000 for a funeral, but costs can run as high as €10,000 to bury their loved one.

The Fine Gael member for Limerick City West, whose late father Richie, a former Council Cathaoirleach, died last December after battling cancer, is now urging people to have a conversation with their family about their wishes for their burial.

“This is a matter I know we all feel uncomfortable talking about but it is a part of life,” said Cllr Butler.

He claims that the cost of buying a grave in Limerick is “reasonable enough” in comparison with Dublin. However, he warned of hidden charges that could push the total cost of a funeral towards the heavens.

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“There is a hidden charge of €150 for planning permission to erect a gravestone. I cannot understand this charge. You are obviously going to erect a gravestone for your loved one, so why do we need to get planning and pay €150 for this?” he asked.

“To open a grave for a coffin, you are looking at €250 and for an urn, the cost can come to €200.

“Cremtorium costs, with a priest providing prayers. is €875 and that does not include transportation costs which can amount to over €1,000. Coffins are averaging €500 with urns averaging €150 to 200. An average gravestone in Ireland is €1,500 but most will pay over €2,000. This all adds up,” he said.

Cllr Butler went on to remind people of the financial support available from the Department of Social Protection who, on a case-by-case basis, can provide support as an exceptional needs payment. Average payment from the Department are in and around €1,300.

“I just want to highlight the issue and make people aware of the costs involved. It is a difficult enough time as it is without having to face the stresses of paying such large sums of money.

“We often do not question these costs as the last thing on our minds is to assess if its a fair price or if we can afford it. You just want to pay a fitting tribute for your loved one.

“I hope this might start a conversation in family homes about how they are going to prepare for this inevitable and painful time,” Cllr Butler concluded.