Politicians are backing calls by a leading coroner for reform of the Coroner’s Act.
Louth Co Coroner, Ronan Maguire, is calling for an increase in the penalty for witnesses who fail to attend inquests.
At present, the fine for failing to show up at an inquest is just £5 (€6.35).
The Department of Justice says reform of the relevant laws is in progress.
Fine Gael says Mr Maguire is right to be critical of the system, which causes widespread disruption at inquests across the country.
The party’s spokesman on justice, John Deasy, says coroners need to be empowered to summon witnesses to inquests because the families of the dead have enough to go through without constant delays to hearings.