Funeral services to be shown online
A new online service has been launched to allow Irish emigrants to "attend" family funerals over the internet.
Members of the diaspora who are unable to travel to pay their respects will be able to log in to a special private weblink and stream coverage of services, including burial.
Web-based Funerals Live will broadcast live or offer mourners the option of a video recording within two hours.
Alan Foudy, who has set up the company, says it will also allow people to pay their respects from sick beds in hospitals, or from nursing homes.
"Wherever in the world our client may be, whether it is in Australia or the United States, this service provides them with private weblink to a live stream of a funeral service or the option of a video recording of the entire service, including the burial, within two hours of its conclusion," he said.
"The general feeling was that a live webcast or a delayed broadcast of the service would be a better option rather than having to wait up to two weeks for a DVD to arrive by post."
Mr Foudy said the idea came from a request to make a DVD of a funeral for relatives who could not attend the service. He plans to employ 10 people over the next 18 months.
It is understood to be the only service of its kind in the UK and Ireland and mourners will be charged from 350 euro (£293), with live streaming costing up to 850 euro (£711).
Mr Foudy said some of the online streaming will be dependent on quality broadband in some areas.
"Based on our initial work, we expect that the majority of clients we will be working on behalf of will include either family members or friends of the deceased who have not been able to travel to Ireland to attend a funeral," he said.
"We also expect that the service will also be particularly useful to persons in hospitals or nursing homes who are unable to attend services."