Section 37(1) of the Civil Registration Act 2004 places an obligation on a relative of the deceased to register the death within 3 months from the date of the death. If a relative cannot be found, or is incapable through ill health of complying with this obligation, the registration may be done within 3 months by any other qualified informant.
If the death has not been registered within 3 months, it may be registered by any qualified informant. The list of qualified informants is set out in section 37(5) – this includes “any other person who has knowledge of the required particulars” as well as “the person who took charge of that body” and does not assign particular priority to either of these.
The General Register Office (GRO) has indicated that it would be willing to examine this particular case and have provided the following contact details if the Deputy, or the person concerned, wish to pursue this further:
Con Connolly, Legislation/Registration Section, General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon, F42 VX53; Tel: 090 6632954.
On the question of updating the legislation, section 37 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 was amended by section 11 of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 to allow for the inclusion of a cohabitant as a person who has a duty to register a death within 3 months of the death, and also to allow for their inclusion as a qualified informant. This section, and other sections in the 2014 Act, remain to be commenced pending completion of training by Civil Registration Service staff in the HSE. The GRO is ready to deliver this training when the HSE indicate availability of staff to attend, including identification of preferred dates and venues.