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Death Certificate for Irish Citizens who Die Abroad

5th October 2011 - Senator Anthony Lawlor

Question No: 303 Ref No: 26426/11

To the Minister for Social Protection

To ask the Minister for Social Protection when she expects the general review of the provisions of the Civil Registration Act, 2004 to be completed, which will address the current situation whereby Irish citizens who die abroad cannot have their deaths registered in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 27th September, 2011.


Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D.):

A general review of the provisions of the Civil Registration Act, 2004 is on-going and is expected to be completed later this year.

Usually, when an Irish citizen dies abroad, the death is registered by the civil authorities of the place where the death occurred, and a certified copy of the death registration is obtainable. This certificate, translated if necessary, is normally sufficient for all legal and administrative purposes here and for these reasons alone there is no necessity for the death to be registered in the State.

Any broadening of the current provisions will require careful consideration. It will be appreciated that the number of people who live and die in other countries and who have or are entitled to have Irish citizenship is very large. This would have implications both for the registration process itself and for the vital statistics relating to deaths which are derived from registered events.

A death certificate is readily available in the overwhelming majority of these cases. However, I do appreciate that many families of the deceased feel strongly that by registration of the death, the person’s death is given recognition in his/her own country and also that this fact would assist during a period of considerable grief. My Department will therefore have this matter reviewed in the context of future amendments to the Civil Registration Act, 2004

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