Death abroad

The death of a loved one abroad is particularly distressing and our staff will do everything possible to help you manage.

What we can do

We can:

  • We can make arrangements with the Garda Síochána to have the next of kin in Ireland informed immediately*.
  • We can provide practical advice on local processes and liaise with local authorities.
  • We can provide you with a list of English speaking local undertakers. Once you have appointed a local undertaker, they can then liaise with your appointed undertaker in Ireland.
  • We can liaise with the police or judicial authorities, where relevant, to ensure that communication channels are clear and open.

*Data may be shared with the General Register Office in order to establish next of kin information.

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What we cannot do

We can’t:

  • We can’t pay for the return of your loved one to Ireland but we can put you in touch with organisations who might be able to provide support.
  • We can’t pay for funeral expenses or for travel related expenses for relatives.
  • We can’t investigate crimes or become involved in the judicial proceedings of other jurisdictions.  
  • We can’t give legal advice nor can we represent you in court or any investigation.
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Returning home

You should be aware that the time required in order for remains to be repatriated may vary depending on the formalities required by different countries, and also on the individual circumstances surrounding each death.

On average, repatriations can take 10-14 days, although they often take longer.

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If opting for cremation, you may wish to arrange for the ashes to be brought back to Ireland. Local laws differ in this regard, and should be checked, but generally a death certificate and cremation certificate are required.

It will also be important to consult with any transport carriers for their own requirements.

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Funeral arrangements

When it comes to funeral arrangements overseas, we will do our best to see that the wishes of the deceased and their family are respected.

This however may not always be possible, depending on local law or unforeseen circumstances.

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Criminal investigation

All investigations and enquiries into crimes committed abroad are the responsibility of the local police and judicial authorities.

We can keep you informed of progress but we can’t get involved in any investigations.

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Irish coroner

In the circumstances of an unexplained or suspicious death overseas, the family may wish to request further examination by the coroner’s office of the remains on return to Ireland.  

You can get more information on the role and requirements of the coroner when the deceased returns to Ireland by contacting or consulting the relevant list here.

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