The recession is now affecting the dead – Irish families can no longer afford lavish funerals as the downturn bites.
Undertakers in Ireland say the average paid for a funeral has dropped by 40 per cent in the last five years.
Expenditure on flowers, music and limousines has all dropped in the wake of the country’s economic woes.
At the height of the boom, the average Irish funeral cost a whopping $9,000 and as much as $15,000 was spent on lavish send-offs.
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Now the average is down to just over $5,000 with many families looking to the cheaper cremation option.
Funeral Director Keith Massey told the Irish Independent: “The spend on funerals is right down. I would say people are now spending $5,000 on average, compared to $9,000 just two years ago.
“In 2005 and 2006, it was pretty common for $15,000 to be spent on funerals. In those cases, families might have spent $2,500 on flowers alone, but that figure is now down to between $200 and $350.
“And back then, there were often four to five limousines hired. That now has been cut back to one or even none. And a lot more cheaper veneer coffins are being used than before.”
Massey also said that cremations, costing as little as $1,000, now account for almost 30 per cent of his business, up from just 10 per cent in 2002.