To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will indicate the progress made on preparing and enacting legislation in order that families of Irish citizens who die abroad can obtain an Irish death certificate or a document of equal validity and significance.
– Seán Kyne.
R E P L Y
Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D):
My Department is currently preparing amending legislation to update the Civil Registration Act, 2004. The existing legislation covers the registration of deaths in the State.
Usually when a person dies abroad the death is registered by the authorities in that country and a certified copy of the death registration is obtainable from that country.
In general, only deaths which occur within the State can be registered here although there are some exceptions such as for the death of a person on board an Irish aircraft etc., the death of a member of the security forces serving outside the State or where a death occurs in a country which does not have a system in place to register deaths.
However, I realise that there are situations where it is very important for families to have the death of their loved one registered in Ireland. For that reason I have asked my Department to examine the options for providing a mechanism that deals with these cases in a way that addresses the concerns of families while ensuring the validity of the current registration process.
This issue is currently being considered in my Department along with a number of other proposed amendments to the Civil Registration Act (2004) and in this regard it is hoped that legislation will be introduced in 2013.