Seamas Griffin, Managing Director of Kirwans Funeral Directors talk to Maeve Quigley of the Irish Daily Mail about the 100 years of Kirwans.
With Kirwans Funerals Directors celebrating 100 years in business, Seamas Griffin, MD of Kirwans was delighted to talk with Maeve Quigley from the Irish Daily Mail to share his experience of working as a Funeral Director with Kirwans since he joined the business in 1996. Seamas also talks about how funerals have changed dramatically in the last two decades and how it's not about cost and coffins but honouring memories.
“We are there to take some the pressure and responsibility off the family and we have to ensure that what we do is the right thing. You do everything to help the family in the best way. The right thing can be different every time and that’s something funeral directors need to be aware of. You have to be neutral, aware of sensitivities and different family dynamics, says Séamas.
You have the skills of a social worker and also the skills of a business person making sure everything is going the way they should be. You’re a co-ordinator and sometimes your might be called in as a celebrant because you might have to do prayers in the funeral home, you might have to do announcements and greet people who are arriving. More than once I got asked to sing at funerals when the signer didn’t turn up. Then there’s the practicality of all the things you need to know – how to look after the deceased and the preparations and dressing and cemeteries.
All sorts come through the doors, from politicians to people who have no one to bury them. The emphasis on celebrating that person's life is really important, says Séamas. We recently looked after someone who has no family and the local shopkeeper and a couple of neighbours honoured his remains and that is so important. It's not about cost and coffins, it's about honouring him and his memories."
Kirwans are part of the Fanagan group, Ireland’s largest Funeral Directors. The Fanagan Group includes Carnegies, Kirwans and Nichols.