THE DEATH OF a family member, friend or acquaintance is a sad time for all involved, but not being able to be present at a loved ones funeral can also be upsetting.
With the increase of emigration over the years, there are Irish people all over the world who are unable to travel home to Ireland to attend funerals of family members or friends.
A newly launched service hopes to give a practical solution and allow people watch funerals live over the internet.
‘Funerals Live’ is the an idea thought up by County Clare businessman Alan Foudy who says the idea behind this new venture arose after he was asked to make a DVD of a funeral service for relatives and friends of the deceased whose funeral they could not attend.
“The general feeling was that a live webcast or a delayed broadcast of the service would be a better option rather than having to wait up to two weeks for a DVD to arrive by post,” he said.
The idea is that wherever in the world their client may be, whether it is in Australia or the United States, Funerals Live will provide them with private weblink to a live stream of a funeral service or the option of a video recording of the entire service, including the burial, within two hours of its conclusion” explained Foudy.
“With the approval of the relevant parish priest and family members, I provide live streamed footage and audio of funerals in the church and graveyard subject to the availability of broadband on location.
The entire service can also be made available online no more than two hours after the funeral service with prices for all services starting from €350.
The weblink is password protected so as to ensure only people who you want to see it will see it.
Foudy said he expected that the majority of his clients will be family members or friends of the deceased who have not been able to travel to Ireland to attend a funeral, adding that the service will also be particularly useful to persons in hospitals or nursing homes who are unable to attend services.
He said that privacy was paramount stating that the passwords will be private, adding that they want to offer a “professional and discreet service which respects the sensitivity of the occasion”.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Foudy said that it has proved popular so far, stating that a funeral is an important part of the grieving process with many people very disappointed when they cannot attend.
“There are many people in the US without Green cards who can’t come home and if their parents die it is a big decision to make as to whether they should risk leaving and come home to attend the funeral. This way they can still feel like they were a part of it,” he said.
He added that one of the clients he had was an elderly man in hospital who could not attend the funeral of his wife as he was too ill.
“The family had it recorded and they brought it into him and watched it together as a family and I think that is nice, as it’s important that those grieving take part in saying goodbye in some way,” he said.
Foudy said Funerals Live will hopefully create up to ten new jobs over the next 18 months as the service is rolled out.
Alan Foudy from Funerals Live. (Photo: Mark Dunphy)
For more visit www.funeralslive.ie.