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    Repatriation of bodies through Shannon to resume

    By Noreen Bowden | April 16, 2008

    Aer Lingus has reinstated the service of repatriating remains through Shannon Airport from London-Heathrow. The service had ended in January, with the ending of direct flights between the two airports. The move will benefit loved ones in the West of Ireland who for the last few months have had to travel to Dublin or Cork to receive repatriated remains.

    London-based funeral directors Patrick Ryan and Daughter said that they will now begin repatriating remains by flying them to Dublin late at night, and then transporting them on the last leg on to Shannon on one of two early-morning transatlantic flights. Patrick Ryan, a native of Cappamore, County Limerick, said that “There is no doubt that the loss of the repatriation service to the West of Ireland did add to the distress of families at a very vulnerable time.” He continued:

    “Traditionally many Irish born people living throughout Britain express a wish to be buried in Ireland when they die. And up until the removal of the direct service between Shannon and Heathrow it was fairly common practice to fly remains over from Britain. Indeed, the bodies of Irish people who died elsewhere in Europe were also repatriated through Shannon via Heathrow.”

    Councillor Patricia McCarthy, the Mayor of Clare, welcomed the move, adding, “Following this announcement, we in the West of Ireland will continue to lobby for the resumption of direct flights between Shannon and Heathrow in the not-to-distant future.”

    See the press release.

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