A NEW company is allowing people to make funeral arrangements and book coffins and hearses online.
The website, www.funeralsonline.ie, was launched yesterday with those behind the initiative claiming it will make it easier for people to financially plan for a funeral in advance.
According to the Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD), the average cost of a funeral ceremony is between €4,000 and €4,500, but the cost of a grave plot can add anything up to €3,500, particularly in urban areas such as Dublin.
The website has been developed by Avril West, managing director of Funeralsonline.ie, and Stephen Collier and Graham Mosey.
The confidential nationwide service allows people to view funeral plans, through their own password and reference number, and buy every item associated with funeral services.
Costs are on the site, and there is also a facility that allows family members to participate and view funeral plans, through a password and reference number.
The funeral ceremony can even be webcast.
Avril West said the launch of such a service was a leap ahead for the funeral industry.
She said it is “important to point out that this service is not designed to desensitise the funeral process in any way – we will ensure that a loved one is cared for in exactly the same way as a traditional funeral”.
The secretary general of the IAFD, Ballincollig-based Michael Crowley, said the website could influence other firms to follow suit.
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