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General Information

This page contains information on a range of topics which you may find useful following a bereavement.

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Bereavement Grant

“The Bereavement Grant is no longer available. In the case of an Exceptional Needs Payment, this can be assessed and processed through a local Community Welfare Officer. The Surviving Civil Partner Grant is still available. For more details on both see:

Death Certificate

All deaths must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Death and Marriages in the area where the death occurred. There are Registrars of Deaths in every county. The person responsible for registering the death is the nearest relative present at the death. A Death Certificate will be issued upon registration, and it is a vital document to the bereaved family when it come to applying for pensions or in matters of probate. See FAQs

Where The Death Took Place

In Hospital: The majority of deaths occur in hospital and the hospital staff arranges for the laying out of the body, provide a medical certificate of the cause of death and register the death. Most hospitals have mortuaries where the body of the deceased is held until the funeral arrangements are made.
At Home: If a death occurs at home, you need to contact the doctor (GP) who attended to the deceased during their final illness. Contact your local Funeral Director who will deal with all the necessary arrangements.

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Death Abroad

Every country has its own rules about the formalities to be followed when a person dies. Corrigans will be able to help you deal with these formalities and arrange for the remains to be brought home if you wish.

Bereavement Support

A confidential bereavement support line is available from the Irish Hospice Foundation and HSE.

The freephone service on 1800 80 70 77 is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm. Callers will be given emotional support and information on any practical issues that may be helpful to you.

If you need more support, please get in touch with us and we can signpost you to a local counselling service, or discuss with your GP for a public referral.

Still Births

If you are the parent of a stillborn child, there is no legal obligation on you to register the death. However, you may do so within forty-two days of the birth. The doctor who attended the birth or examined the child must provide, free of charge, a signed medical certificate which states the weight and gestational age of the child. You can then register the birth with the local Registrar of Births.

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Post Mortems

A post mortem (sometimes called an autopsy) is an examination carried out by a pathologist after the death to try to establish the medical cause of death.


A Coroner is involved in all cases of sudden and unexpected death. Certain deaths must be reported to the Coroner. All doctors, registrars of death, funeral undertakers as well as people in charge of the premises in which a person died are obliged to inform the coroner (or a Garda Sergeant) if they suspect that the person died, either directly or indirectly; As a result of violence or misadventure.

Organ Donation

It is important to act quickly if it is the deceased's wish to donate organs. If they were carrying an organ donor card and died in hospital, the hospital will contact the person named as next of kin before arranging the removal of organs. It is usual to get the family's consent for this. If the deceased was not carrying an organ donor card, the family may be asked to agree to organ donation. Further information – Irish Kidney Association.


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