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9 1962

CORONERS ACT, 1962

PART V

Miscellaneous

Removal and custody of body pending inquest, etc.

46. —(1) Where a coroner considers it necessary to hold an inquest on, or a post-mortem examination of, the body of a deceased person, he may direct that the body be removed into a convenient mortuary or morgue or other suitable place (whether inside or outside his district) and kept therein until he otherwise directs, and he may make such arrangements for the removal of the body as he considers necessary or desirable.

(2) The person in charge of a mortuary, morgue or other place into which the body of a deceased person is directed to be removed under subsection (1) of this section shall allow the body to be deposited in such mortuary, morgue or other place and shall keep the body therein until the coroner otherwise directs.

(3) Any person who obstructs the removal of a body pursuant to a direction under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this subsection and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.

(4) Any person in charge of a mortuary, morgue or other place who fails to comply with subsection (2) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this subsection and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.

(5) The removal of a body in pursuance of a direction by a coroner under subsection (1) of this section to any place outside his district shall not affect his powers and duties in relation to the body or the inquest thereon, nor shall it confer or impose any rights, powers or duties upon any other coroner.

Exhumation.

47. —(1) Where a coroner is informed by a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of inspector that, in his opinion, the death of any person whose body has been buried in the coroner's district may have occurred in a violent or unnatural manner, the coroner may request the Minister to order the exhumation of the body by the Garda Síochána.

(2) On being requested under this section to authorise by order the exhumation of any body, the Minister may, as he thinks proper, either make or refuse to make the order.

(3) Every order made under this section for the exhumation of a body shall operate to authorise the exhumation in accordance with the terms of the order.

(4) Where the body of a deceased person is exhumed in pursuance of an order made under this section, the coroner concerned shall have the like powers and duties as if the body had not been buried.

Removal of body outside the State.

48. —Where it is brought to the notice of a coroner that it is intended to remove out of the State the body of a deceased person which is within his jurisdiction he may certify, in such form as may be prescribed, that he has been satisfied as to the cause of death and that no circumstances exist necessitating the retention of the body, or any part thereof, in the State.

Inquest on treasure trove.

49. —A coroner shall have jurisdiction to inquire into the finding of treasure trove in his district and the provisions of this Act (other than those relating to post-mortem examinations or to the removal of bodies) shall, so far as is consistent with the tenor thereof, apply to every such inquest.

Furnishing of particulars to registrars of births and deaths.

50. —(1) Where, in pursuance of this Act, a coroner—

(a) holds an inquest, or

(b) adjourns an inquest at which evidence of identification and medical evidence as to the cause of death has been given, or

(c) decides, as a result of a post-mortem examination, not to hold an inquest,

he shall furnish the appropriate registrar of births and deaths with a certificate containing such particulars for the registration of the death as may be prescribed after consultation with the Minister for Health and the death shall be registered accordingly.

(2) Where, in pursuance of this Act, a coroner inquires into the circumstances of a death without holding an inquest or causing a post-mortem examination to be made, he shall furnish the appropriate registrar of births and deaths with a certificate containing such particulars as may be prescribed after consultation with the Minister for Health.

(3) Where there is an error in a certificate furnished by a coroner under subsection (1) of this section, he may issue an amending certificate to the registrar and the error shall thereupon be corrected by the registrar in the register of deaths.

Extension of power of coroner to authorise burial.

51. —The power conferred by section 17 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Ireland), 1880, on a coroner, upon holding an inquest on a body, of authorising by order the burial of the body shall be construed as including a power so to authorise the burial of a body, whether it is lying for the time being inside or outside his district, in relation to which he has decided that an inquest to be held by him is or may become necessary, and that section shall have extended operation accordingly.

Provisions governing post-mortem examination caused to be made by coroner.

52. —(1) Where a coroner causes under this Act a post-mortem examination of a body to be made, the following provisions shall have effect:

(a) save as provided by the next following paragraph of this subsection, the coroner shall cause such examination to be made by one (and not more than one) registered medical practitioner,

(b) if the coroner considers that that practitioner will require the assistance of another registered medical practitioner in making the examination, he may cause such assistance to be given by one other (but not more than one other) registered medical practitioner,

(c) where the coroner causes such assistance to be given, he shall furnish the Minister with a statement of his reasons for considering it to be necessary, and

(d) if the coroner summons or requests such other practitioner to give evidence at an inquest on the body, he shall furnish the Minister with a statement of his reasons for considering that evidence to be necessary.

(2) (a) A post-mortem examination under this Act shall not be made by a registered medical practitioner who had attended the person in relation to whose death an inquest is to be or is being held within one month before the person's death.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not apply to a registered medical practitioner who is a pathologist on the staff of, or associated with, a hospital save where the coroner considers that the conduct of such practitioner in relation to his attendance on the deceased person is likely to be called in question at the inquest.

Prohibition on certain coroners from acting in certain proceedings.

53. —A coroner or deputy coroner who is a solicitor or barrister shall not act as solicitor or barrister in criminal proceedings arising out of any matter which may have come before him as coroner or deputy coroner.

Supply of forms to coroner.

54. —The local authority by whom a coroner was appointed shall supply him with such supplies of stationery and of prescribed forms as shall be reasonably required by him for the discharge of his duties.

Returns to be made by coroner.

55. —(1) Every coroner shall, on or before the 1st day of February in each year, furnish to the Minister a written return of the inquests held and deaths inquired into in his district during the year ended on the immediately preceding 31st day of December.

(2) In addition to the yearly return specified in subsection (1) of this section, every coroner shall furnish to the Minister or to such other Minister as the Minister may direct such written returns in relation to inquests held and deaths inquired into in his district as the Minister may from time to time require.

(3) Every return furnished under this section shall be in such form and contain such particulars as the Minister may from time to time direct.

Prescribing of forms of oaths, etc., in respect of inquests.

56. —(1) The following forms may be prescribed in respect of inquests, namely, the form of—

(a) oath to be taken by jurors and to be taken by witnesses,

(b) summons to be served on jurors and to be served on witnesses,

(c) deposition, and

(d) record of verdict

(2) Until forms have been prescribed under this section, the forms of oaths, summonses, depositions and inquisitions in use in respect of inquests immediately before the commencement of this Act may continue to be used and may, where necessary, be modified so as to conform with the provisions of this Act.

Prescribing of certain fees and expenses.

57. —The following fees and expenses shall be prescribed, after consultation with the Minister for Local Government, namely—

(a) the fees payable to persons performing, or assisting at, post-mortem and special examinations,

(b) the expenses payable to witnesses at inquests, and

(c) the expenses payable in connection with removal or custody, in accordance with the direction of a coroner, of a body.

Certification and payment of certain sums.

58. —(1) A coroner may, in respect of any matter for which a fee or expenses is or are prescribed under section 57 of this Act, issue his certificate for the payment by a specified local authority to the person concerned of a sum not greater than the sum prescribed in that behalf.

(2) Every person to whom a certificate has been issued under this section may present the certificate to the local authority specified in the certificate and thereupon the local authority shall pay the sum mentioned in the certificate to the person.

(3) The local authority to be specified in a certificate issued under this section shall be—

(a) in a case where the certificate is issued after an inquest by a coroner who would not ordinarily hold the inquest, the local authority by whom the coroner who would ordinarily hold the inquest was appointed,

(b) in case the certificate is issued by a deputy coroner acting in place of a coroner, the local authority by whom the coroner was appointed,

(c) in every other case, the local authority by whom the coroner issuing the certificate was appointed.

(4) No certificate for the payment of any fee shall be issued under this section to a registered medical practitioner who is on the staff of a health institution, within the meaning of the Health Act, 1947 , or a hospital in connection with an inquest on the body of a person who died in the institution, if it was his duty to attend the person.

Amendment of Juries Act, 1927 .

59. Section 5 (which relates to exemption from jury service) of the Juries Act, 1927 , shall have effect as if there were added to Part I of the First Schedule thereto “Coroners, deputy coroners and persons appointed under subsection (2) of section 5 of the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926 , to fill the office of coroner temporarily”.