Coffins no longer necessary for burial

The burial of bodies not enclosed in coffins will be permitted from next month.

The decision is included in changes to graveyard regulations - announced by the Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

Under the new rules bodies can be buried without the use of coffins in designated areas of graveyards from June 1st.

It has been illegal to do so for over 120 years.

The provision can be overruled by officials in cases where there is deemed to be a health or environmental risk.

The change to the rule comes after concerns were expressed recently by members of the Muslim community regarding their traditional burial rituals.

Jonathan Stafford is managing director of Stafford's Funeral homes.

"The way I'd see it is it's cleaning up some...old laws - Victorian laws, common laws - and the State is obviously protecting itself in the sense that it's allowing cemeteries bury people without a coffin, it's as simple as that" he added.