Meath mortician planning to offer eco-friendly water-based cremations

Elizabeth Oakes.

A Meath mortician is planning to open the first Irish facility to offer eco-friendly cremations, using water not flames.

Elizabeth Oakes (aged 32) is currently in talks with planning departments to open the revolutionary ‘Aquamation Centre’ which will offer a water-based cremation.

Elizabeth, who says she is the only person to hold a degree in Mortuary Science in Ireland says she has been inundated with queries since she first mooted the idea.

“I was at a trade fair in the US when I saw the concept of Aquamation and realised that this was the future for funerals in Ireland,” she said.

“Aquamation is eco-friendly and uses 95% water mixed with 5% alkaline solution.

“The alkaline, when mixed with water naturally heats up and dissolves the body skin, tissue and muscle, leaving only the bones behind.

“The bones are then processed in a cremulator and people get 30% more of their loved ones back as the smaller bones tend to totally disintegrate in traditional flame cremation.”

In addition, Elizabeth says that artificial limbs are totally unharmed and can be recycled after the Aquamation process.

“Any prosthetic hips or knees aren’t affected by the process so can be recycled and reused.

"Aquamation is also good news for the environment and she says, “there are less CO2 emissions and vapourising of mercury from mouth fillings”.

"It has seventeen times less impact on the environment than flame cremation but the costs don't differ.

Elizabeth says that Aquamation also provides reassurance to many religious people.

The Aquamation Centre
The Aquamation Centre

“I’ve noticed that as a predominantly Catholic country, many people think of flames and automatically think of the devil and hell, whereas water is more calming and gentler to the person.”

Elizabeth, who obtained her degree in America is in discussions about a possible location for the Aquamation Crematorium along the Meath/Dublin border and hopes to be able to offer the service next year.

The concept has led to a nomination in Ireland’s Young Entrepreneur awards in the coming weeks.

Most Read in Ireland