The Big Interview

‘People are planning their own funerals now’ – Massey Bros on Ireland’s changing attitude to death

Susan Guinan and Mary Cunniffe say there has been a major shift in the industry, with an increase in cremation over burial and a rise in pre-planning services

Death is no longer a taboo subject: Susan Guinan, managing director, Massey Bros Funeral Directors, and Mary Cunniffe, manager of Massey Bros’ Templeogue branch. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Susan Guinan recalls that during the height of the pandemic, the rituals around death changed but the sense of community in helping those grieving remained strong.

“Irish people love a wake. And there were no wakes, no reposes, nothing during Covid. It was awful,” says Guinan, managing director of Dublin-based funeral directors Massey Bros.

“I remember we did a funeral during the height of the pandemic, on Charlemont Street. Seeing the hearse and the family ...