'It's very hard for the bereaved'; Cork undertaker appeals for public gesture of support to passing funerals

'It's very hard for the bereaved'; Cork undertaker appeals for public gesture of support to passing funerals

A North Cork funeral director has appealed to members of the public to pay their respects to passing funerals in solidarity with grieving families during these tough times.

James Ronayne, who has been looking after funerals with his business Roynane Funeral Directors in Fermoy since 1984, said it's extremely hard on mourners at the moment as attendance to funerals is restricted to just 10 people.

Mr Ronayne is urging people stop for a passing hearse, bow their heads, or bless themselves if appropriate when a funeral passes.

“Funerals are one thing the Irish people do right and do well," he said.

"For bereaved families at the moment, it is very tough. 

"They are alone. They do not have a wave of love and support that comes from a wake and a funeral. 

"Everyone is kept back, there is no hugging or shaking hands. It is very hard.” 

Mr Ronayne said he thought there were be severe implications from this, such as people taking longer to grieve and accept the passing of a loved one.

“For months after all this is over, families will have people coming up to them offering their condolences. 

"In a normal funeral, 95% of that would be done at that time.” 

Mr Ronayne said it was very tough on people at the moment to cope and deal with their sorrow.

“It could be any one of us in the morning, anyone of us could get Covid-19 and die or be by the side of someone we love dying and there is no way to make it special.” 

He is finding it difficult as a professional undertaker also.

“We are in this profession to care for the dead and for their families and it all feels a bit distant. 

"You have to keep your distance from the family. 

"I do the best I can, but it feels so different, so aloof.” 

Mr Ronayne said that there are many forms of hardship befalling folk from the Covid-19 crisis and not getting to send off a loved one as they should be sent, surrounded by family and friends, was definitely one of them.

“It is a rough time for anyone with a funeral,” Mr Ronayne said.

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