Declan Finnegan became a funeral director in 1988 when he took over from his Uncle Joe who had been running the Finnegan funeral business since 1938. Declan immediately set out to improve and modernise the business with the intention of providing the best service possible. With this in mind, he started training to be an embalmer, qualifying in 1993, making him the first qualified embalmer in County Cavan and the surrounding areas.
In the meantime, Declan along with his wife Teresa had purchased a small shop and garage, which they proceeded to develop into a large and successful service station, supermarket and toyshop, thereby gaining them invaluable experience in the business world.
In 2001, they purchased the former Baptist Church which they refurbished as a Funeral Home as a base for the rapidly expanding Funeral business. At this time, Declan also ventured further into the Memorials business.
In 2007, Declan and Teresa sold their shop in order to focus more fully on the Funeral business.
In 2010, Declan completed a course with the In-sight Institute in New Jersey, U.S.A., to become a qualified Celebrant of Civil Funerals in order to provide a service to all, both religious and non-religious.
Most recently, Declan set about extending the Funeral Home and building a Crematorium, the first Crematorium in Ireland located outside of a major city.
Declan is a member of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors, the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association and the Cremation Association of North America. He is also a founding member of the Professional Embalmers Association of Ireland, a former National Executive Member of the British Institute of Embalmers and a former President of the Irish Division of the British Institute of Embalmers.
Declan is dedicated to ensuring that Finnegan’s Funeral Home and Lakelands Crematorium maintain the highest level of professionalism possible and that everyone who comes through our doors is treated with the utmost respect and dignity.
In 2022, Bernard McPhillips joined the Lakelands team full time as a Funeral Director. No stranger to the funeral business, Bernard had been assisting Declan with funerals throughout Cavan for several years. While playing an active role in the crematorium, Bernard’s primary responsibility is to meet with families, to make advanced funeral arrangements, plan funerals, and provide support and care to those dealing with a loss. Whilst still relatively new to the team, Bernard has been instrumental in providing excellent standards for care to families and has become an integral part of the Lakelands team.
Grainne O’Reilly has been an invaluable member of the Lakelands team since 2016 and is usually the first voice you hear or the first person you meet when you contact us. The administrative side of this work can be involved and daunting for some, but Grainne’s extensive knowledge and experience makes the day-to-day ins and outs of Lakelands run smoothly for the rest of the team and those who come here. Grainne also works closely with the bereaved family members in guiding them through the options open to them both before and after the cremation.
Ian Fee joined the team in 2019, primarily as a cremation service celebrant and planner. He has thirty years’ experience of accompanying families through times of significant and profound change from his time in Church ministry, and is an accredited and much in demand civil celebrant for both funerals and weddings both sides of the border.