The previous owners the Maher family had run a general store, which included builders providers, grocery, hackney services and an undertakers. When Eddie started trading he realized that the Maher Family had left a hearse and some coffins in the extensive yard behind the shop. So Eddie and his brother Seán decided to carry on the funeral business as a hobby. They carried out there first funeral in October 1961 and Grey’s Funeral Service grew from there.
Eddie was very well known, and respected as a level and calm man, with an outstanding respect for everyone. He carried out the funeral service with great affection, dignity and a regard for other people’s feelings, while at the same time he was well known for his attention to detail which included time keeping, and his regard towards both the bereaved and the deceased never went unnoticed. He introduced many new ideas to the funeral service in Templemore and surrounding areas. He had an utmost respect for tradition, and a regard for change.
In June 1978, Eddie brought in his Friend Thomas Murphy, a local publican who was held in great esteem by the local community. Together they formed a great team carrying out funeral services to the highest standards. Service to perfection they also formed a life long friendship and utmost respect for each other.
to bring a funeral home. However, no need to fear Tom Murphy was on hand to teach me the in’s and out’s of the funeral service. Like my Dad before me I’m proud to say I formed a very strong friendship with Tom. Tom’s brother Mel joined the team and between us we had enough man power to keep the show on the road, of course with help from Sean and Martin Grey, always available.
A new hearse was purchased later in 1992, a Ford Granada, to give a new look to the business, and I started studying embalming the same year. A brand new embalming facility was built finishing in January 1993. I later studied hairdressing in Skolar’s Hairdressing College, achieving a Diploma in Hairstyling, and Cosmetology in Meridith’s College, London, achieving a Diploma in professional Cosmetology, and finished with a Master’s Degree in Restorative Art, In the International College of Mortuary Science, Liege, Belgium. Everyone in Grey’s agrees the presentation of the deceased is utmost important in any funeral service, as a beautiful casket, hearse, funeral home or spray of flowers, will not camouflage a poorly presented deceased. A testimony to this was the doubling of the funerals carried out by Grey’s in 1994 a trend which has continued to this day. In 1994 a major milestone was reached when 100% of the deceased were embalmed.
1994 also saw the introduction of a limousine which was another area myself and Tom hoped would add to our funeral service, and it did. Even though it was not common to have a limousine in Templemore, the introduction of such a service was very well received.
A lowering device displayed at one of the IAFD meetings caught Myself and Tom’s eye and we purchased one in 1995. This is not used on all funerals however the people of Templemore have warmed to the dignity of having there loved one lowered for the last time with panache as I often put it. The device is set up surrounding the grave with green drapes and leaves the coffin standing about two foot over the grave, which gives us another chance to display the coffin or casket, usually the most expensive item the family have purchased.
1995 saw the start of the biggest project to date, the construction of our new Funeral Home. Having purchased a large site consisting of one and three quarter’s of an acre, I submitted my plans, and through careful planning and consultation with the new neighbors prior to any submission, and keeping my fingers crossed, permission came through on the 21st of January 1996. The 9th of November that year saw the first removal from Grey’s Funeral Home. A moment I will never forget, as it had taken two years of planning, rooting, fighting with bank managers, and a lot of hands on effort to achieve. I set my sights a little high however I got there.
The year 2004 brought more changes. I decided to sell the original main premises, which included a Men’s Wear Shop and extend the funeral home and include living accommodation. I sold the shop within a few months and received planning permission. I had also sold the Limousine business as this would require a larger garage, and despite the Limousines doing a thriving business they weren’t used that much with funerals. I purchased a new Mercedes hearse. I moved into my new three bed roomed apartment and funeral home the second week in December 2004. I got a top class embalming theatre, second chapel, garage, coffin display room and office. I now feel I have the ultimate funeral home. However I keep an open mind, who knows what will happen next week.
In 2007 we tarmacked the yard, which greatly improved the appearance of the funeral home.
2008 saw the arrival of two new vehicles, the first time ever to have a brand new hearse and removal car, the hearse a Mercedes E270 and the removal car a Ford Mondeo.
2009 We closed the main room for two weeks to remove the suspended ceiling and replace it with a beautiful plastered ceiling, improved lighting, more modern finish and removed the church pews and replaced them with luxury chairs.
2011 We closed the main lobby down to facilitate the development of the ceiling, again replacing the original suspended ceiling with a new ultra modern plastered one, re decorating to a more modern standard, removing some dated furniture and fittings and replacing them with more homely and comfortable furniture.
2012 we updated the heating and air conditioning systems in the main room and lobby, which are the areas in the building We use most.
The next few Years saw a project or two being completed each Year, the addition of refrigerated facilities and up grading of the embalming room area and equipment. Three new garages were added and they now have a beautiful wooded front and doors on them which are a highlight of Our facility. The garden, flowers and landscaping receive constant attention and up grading.
Our Staff have change over the Years with the great addition of Wayne Cummins and Thomas Bourke adding to the professional service We like to provide.
2017 saw the lighting project in the yard come to a great conclusion, by adding street lights to light up our car park and using led bulbs to greatly reduce Our carbon print, something We have been doing inside the building for some time now. We also up dated the air conditioning to give us more powerful units and also reduce our carbon foot print.
2018 was another busy year for Grey’s. We extended our lighting project to the rear of the yard. Two new vehicles were purchased. A Ford Mondeo private ambulance and Ford Mondeo Vignale Hybrid hearse.
I made a big decision to stop doing embalming for other funeral homes, something I had done since 1993, but felt I needed to concentrate on My own funeral home. Some of the funeral homes I had worked for had family arrive back to work with them that I helped train to be qualified embalmers. I have travelled the length and breath of this Country over the Years, helping out funeral Directors day and night and it was lovely to meet so many different characters, work in different funeral homes and get a serious education in my craft, dealing with different situations and facilities. I have so many stories of the road and situations I ended up in, I’m sure I will share them for years. In later years I only worked in the state of the art embalming room I built for myself here, something I treasure now as I continue learn and embalm hopefully well into the future, embalming I believe is a most important part of our funeral service.
We have developed a constant need for forward motion and this didn’t stop. even though we had no idea what was ahead, we spent considerable time and investment fitting the Funeral Home with a new audio and a camera system easily used to broadcast funeral services from our Funeral Home, something we noticed was very much needed when family couldn’t attend or wanted to share the visitation with family and friends, either in another country, town or nursing home.
Our website got a serious make over and became a big part of Our service, using the ejgrey.com name, we started to use it more and more to announce funeral services and a place for people to leave their messages of condolence, this very quickly got serious traffic, because for local people it was very easy access and follow and when there, could easily find information regarding services.
When covid struck and lock down happened, we were in a great position to share via internet what was happening in Our Home, something that brought comfort to those unable to attend. We were immediately approached by Church and other services who needed to avail of our facility to broadcast their services on a daily basis, something we were very proud and delighted to be able to accommodate and our Funeral Home became a live studio, with regular broadcasts daily and several on a Sunday.
As covid lockdown got worse and only 10 were allowed to attend funeral services, our website and live cameras truly came into being a serious asset, we now found ourselves not going to Church with funerals, instead having the complete funeral service here and only leaving to go to a Cemetery or Crematorium. Lucky to have a great spacious funeral home and all the services we had, all helped grieving families during these very unusual and stressful times none of us would have predicted. We also opened our funeral home for longer reposing times, allowing 10 people to attend the funeral at different times during the day. we also completed all Our funeral duties to the Deceased in full, allowing for open coffins at all times, something I believe helped the bereaved who were sometimes advised otherwise, I firmly believe saying goodbye is very important and try at all times to ensure it is as pleasant an experience as possible, hopefully helping with the healing process.
During this time we also opened Our doors once again to help other funeral homes who felt they were unable to handle the covid pandemic, and turned to us for help, we estimate we helped over 180 families, hopefully bringing them some peace at a very difficult time. Our premises was used on two occasions as a vaccination center by our local medical practice and we recorded a you tube serious involving local musicians who recorded their songs outdoors in our garden, we broadcast them once a week to a very large audience, hopefully bringing light into some very isolated households .
Covid didn’t end there, one of the Funeral Directors visiting us during this time offered to buy my hearse, I told him to take it home, do his funeral and return with an offer. He did and I excepted and ordered a brand new Hearse the next day. I had to wait 6 months for it to be built, but we did our deal and I travelled to Belfast and returned home with a brand new Mercedes hearse.
This Year I decided to build new bathrooms a task that would take 3 stages. I had to rehouse the hearse as I needed that space for the bathrooms and I also needed room for the equipment we have stored in the garage, so a loft had to be built in the new garage to hold our equipment and transfer the hearse, then we could commence building inside the funeral home, which involved opening a new entrance through a serious wall and moving another double entrance, all of which drove dust to the sky and we had to keep the funeral home operational at all times, which became a serious chore with concrete walls being cut , steel welding, concrete being poured, plastering of walls, chasing wires and tiles being cut. After four months we opened our new state of the art bathrooms with serious high standard finish and very up to date fittings, which also includes a very spacious wheelchair and baby changing facility all completely air controlled with piped music.
The final part of our little project was to create a family room where the old bathrooms were, this involved more demolition of solid walls, removing piping, tiles and wiring, something which we managed to sort very quickly, on a development roll now !!!!! we got the room plastered and a new ceiling and walls , new wiring, leaving painting and leveling of the floor to complete the project, new furniture and we were ready. This room is decorated similar to any living room but with no distractions of phones or television, leaving a lovely peaceful area to sit and discuss arrangements , meet and have a quiet chat, Young adults to gather with their friends or simply escape with a coffee and chill.