The death of a loved one abroad is particularly distressing and our staff will do everything possible to help you to deal with the foreign authorities.
What we can do
- We can make arrangements with the Garda Síochána to have the designated emergency contact in Ireland informed immediately.
- We can deal with local authorities to get death and other certificates.
- We can put you in touch with local undertakers, who can liaise with your undertaker in Ireland.
- We can liaise with the police or judicial authorities on your behalf in the case of a suspicious death or an accident.
What we can’t do
- We can’t pay for the person who has died to be returned home to Ireland – but we can put you in touch with organisations who might be able to help.
- We can’t pay for funeral expenses or for relatives to travel to where the death occurred, or to accompany their loved one back to Ireland.
- We can’t investigate any crimes or become involved in judicial proceedings in other jurisdictions.
- We can’t give legal advice or represent you in court.
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 a death. On average, repatriations take 7-10 days, although they often take longer.
When it comes to funeral arrangements, we will do our best to see that the wishes of the person who has died and their family are respected.
We can liaise between the family, local authorities and undertakers who can organise a local burial (or cremation) or arrange for the remains to be flown back to Ireland. However, it may not always be possible to fully comply with the family’s wishes, due to local law, weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
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.
If the circumstances of a death are unnatural (for example, through violence or criminal activity) the Irish coroner (and also the family) may want further examinations to be carried out when the deceased returns to Ireland.
You can get more information on the role and requirements of the Coroner when the deceased returns to Ireland by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org .
If a family member has died abroad and you need help, contact the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate. Or you can call our Consular Assistance Unit in Dublin on +353 (0) 1 408 2000.