Irish medical schools are in need of cadavers.

Schools in Dublin, Cork and Galway, which rely on the donation of bodies to teach their medical, dental and science students, are fearing a shortage similar to what the UK has experienced for over the past 15 years, reports the Irish Independent.

Body donations have dropped from more than 700 to 600 in just five years, the Former British chief medical officer Liam Donaldson has said. Around 1,000 donations a year are needed.

The appeal for cadavers comes as the University College Cork (UCC), one of the oldest medical schools in the country, is preparing to stage a memorial ceremony for the estimated 3,000-plus people who have donated their bodies over the past 150 years.

"We are very grateful to those who are generous enough to donate their bodies for medical science and education. Such bequests are essential to our proper functioning within the medical and other health-science schools," UCC's Professor John Cryan told the Irish Independent.

Donors must contact a medical school in person, but certain medical conditions like hepatitis and HIV may prevent bodies from being accepted.

If a body is accepted, it is typically retained for two years before being buried or cremated in accordance to the donor's wishes.

UCC's inaugural memorial service will take place at the school's Honan Chapel next Thursday at 4pm.