Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.52 10 Mar 2020


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A funeral home in Co Mayo has introduced hand sanitizers at its premises, so grieving family members can still shake hands.

McGowan's Funeral Home in Ballina says it catered to some 3,000 people on Monday night.

CEO and founder David McGowan told Pat Kenny his staff are used to dealing with diseases.

"We did ask the family did they want us to announce on the notices did they want us to delete the shaking of hands.

"They said 'no, but will you put something in place' - we had six sanitizers hanging from the door.

"We observed what went on: it didn't slow down the crowd one bit.

"It took the same time to wash your hands as it did to register in the register book."

"Yes you have to be careful when you have a suspected coronavirus there on the table - but we as embalmers and funeral directors... we're dealing with people every week that have died from some sort of pneumonia-related disease - and coronavirus isn't much different".

"Yes you have to be careful, you have to treat the deceased person in a proper manner in the interests of public health."

It comes as the Irish Association of Funeral Directors has suggested that funeral services for coronavirus victims should be postponed and the deceased brought straight to the crematorium or cemetery.

It also advised that transport for families of the deceased, such as limousines and saloons, should not be provided and that funeral instructions should be given to undertakers over the phone.

It also recommended that relatives of the deceased should not attend funeral homes.


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Ballina Co. Mayo Coronavirus David McGowan Funeral Funeral Home Irish Association Of Funeral Directors McGowan's Funeral Homes Pat Kenny

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