A new crematorium at Shannon, the second in Munster, will be ready to cater for its first funerals next Tuesday.
Up to 3,000 people have attended recent open days held at Shannon Crematorium which is located near Illaunmanagh Cemetery.
Jim Cranwell, a director of the company which owns the crematorium, said huge numbers of people along with funeral directors and clergy have viewed the facility in recent days: “There has been great interest and funeral directors from all over the country have visited the facility.
“There are four full-time staff and the availability of a crematorium in the Mid-West will take a lot of travel pressure off families who now have to go to Cork or Dublin,” he added.
Built at a cost of €2.4m, it was completed after a nine-year planning process. The building includes a chapel, which can seat 140 people, with video screens where tributes can be played. There will also be a small chapel/hospitality area with seating for 60 where people can remain on after the cremation.
Mr Cranwell said: “We will help put together these tributes and families can also have webcam facilities which will enable families to have a ceremony transmitted anywhere in the world.”
Mr Cranwell said: “We want to give families plenty of time to remain on to have tea or coffee to talk and reflect as sometimes people can travel a long distance but cannot remain to go back to a hotel afterwards. We don’t want to rush people, but give them time.”
Cremations at Shannon will cost €750 and there will be no additional charges on Sundays and holidays. There is a growing demand for cremations and undertakers in Limerick say that between 15% and 20% of funerals now take place in crematoriums.
John Mark Griffin, whose family operate one of the oldest funeral undertaking businesses in Limerick, said: “Families have to travel long distances to crematoriums in Cork and Dublin and this can be especially a big burden. Now there will be a crematorium in the region which will ease long travel by road for families.”
There are four crematoriums in Dublin; one in Cork; and one in Cavan. Open days in Shannon have been organised over the coming weekend for clergy, undertakers and members of the public.
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