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Abbey Graveyard, Howth - changed law will allow bodies to be buried in Ireland with no coffin

Change to 125-year-old Victorian law means Muslims can be buried with no coffin in Ireland

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Abbey Graveyard, Howth - changed law will allow bodies to be buried in Ireland with no coffin

After expressed concerns from members of the Muslim community in Ireland, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan approved a change to the burial regulations established in 1888, which will allow human remains to be buried without a coffin.

On June 1 the reform will override the original rule that no burials are allowed,  “unless the body be enclosed in a coffin of wood or some other sufficiently strong material.”

The Irish Times reported that a spokesman for the Department of the Environment explained that, “The change to the rule follows concerns recently expressed by members of the Muslim community regarding their traditional burial rituals,” although the option to go without a coffin will not be exclusive to people of muslim faith. 

Meaning that anybody in Ireland can be buried without a coffin as long as the family has approval from the cemetery and if environmental health officials don’t find the burial to pose risks to the local ecosystem. 

It is reported that the Environmental Protection Agency, HSE and the City and County Managers Association all approved of the change.

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