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Northern Ireland is cheapest place to die in UK

By Claire McNeilly

The cost of living in Northern Ireland may be astronomical - but the cost of dying isn't. Indeed, it's a lot cheaper to end your days here than in anywhere else in the UK, with burials often costing thousands of pounds less than other regions.

If you shuffle off this mortal coil in the Fermanagh and Omagh district council area, for instance, it will take as little as £261 to bury you.

At the opposite end of the scale is Highgate in London - where the £18,325 burial fee would have you turning in your grave.

Cremations are also considerably cheaper here, according to new research from a funeral comparison service, which claims the £610 fee is £143 cheaper than the UK average of £753.

That cost falls further still to £370 for residents of Belfast, where Northern Ireland's only crematorium is located at Roselawn.

Data provided by Funeralbooker shows that the most expensive place to get buried in Northern Ireland is Lisburn New Cemetery, where it costs £843. That's up £190 from 2016.

In the Belfast City Council area, burial will set you back £698, while the third most expensive council area is Antrim and Newtownabbey, where it costs £580 for a plot at Carnmoney Cemetery.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council offers the cheapest burials at its three plots, charging £261 at Cross, Fintona and Green Hill cemeteries.

Newry, Mourne and Down Council is responsible for the biggest price hike - a whopping 41.1%.

Burial now costs £460 in all three of its cemeteries, compared to £326 last year.

Across the UK, a 5.2% hike in cremation fees and a 5% increase in the price of burials have forced costs to an all-time high, while fees here have gone up by just 1.5% and 4.2% respectively.

Funeralbooker co-founder James Dunn said that it means Northern Ireland is the cheapest region in the UK for both cremation and burial.

"At just £419 on average, Northern Ireland families are saving an incredible £17,906 on the amount people living near Highgate, London, the UK's most expensive cemetery, would need to pay in burial fees," he said.

"Local families will also be relieved to hear that they will be paying £389 less than those living close to the most expensive crematoria in the UK, which are charging an eye-watering £999 cremation fee."

Mr Dunn said that while the fees in Northern Ireland are relatively low, the data throws up some staggering disparities.

"This postcode lottery means that Enniskillen, Fintona and Green Hill residents need only shell out £261 on average for burial fees, while Lisburn residents will need to find £843," he said.

And Mr Dunn added: "Belfast and Co Antrim see the second most expensive burial fees at £698."

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