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QR codes at Irish gravestones to tell stories of loved ones

Olivia Kelleher

Young entrepreneurs in Cork have launched a company which is aiming to help people tell the stories of their deceased loved ones via a discretely placed QR code on their gravestone.

'The Story Of' is the brainchild of three friends who met through University College Cork’s Entrepreneurial Network. Company co-founder Judie Russell told Newstalk Breakfast that when the deceased are laid to rest their relatives are limited by the amount of text they can put on the gravestone.

The Story Of plans to overcome that by working with families to gather information about their deceased relatives in the form of pictures and videos. With this information they will compile a webpage of the person’s life which can be accessed via a QR code on their grave. Family members or inquisitive members of the public who are visiting graveyards can scan the QR code to access the story.

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Ms Russell said the QR code can be attached to a gravestone, an urn, a bench or even remembrance cards.

Their photographs, their story, their biography.

"It is like they (the deceased) come to life. Their photographs, their story, their biography. Whatever they want to add. I suppose we have two groups. We have got the living people. So, I have created a profile for my Mum, with my Mum. She has lots of videos about the lessons she would like to pass on.

"Or then you create one for people who have already passed. So, one of the other co-founders has one for his (Late) grandfather and the QR code is already on his gravestone in Cork. "

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Ms Russell says it is vital to digitise the memories of our late parents or grandparents before they get lost.

Meanwhile, she believes that adult children who work on one with a living parent often find that it is good for relationship building.

"When older people are given space to reminisce on their lives, it can be of huge benefit to their mental health. Also, studies have shown that when children learn family stories it creates a shared history and strengthens emotional bonds."

The other founders of the company are Luke Murphy and Danny O’Donovan. Danny’s grandfather was a well-known boxer in Cork called Danzer Nagle Ahern.

Danny wanted to tell the story of his achievements and the highlights of his career in a way that would attract the attention of the older generation who might remember him as well as a younger generation who would have an interest in Cork characters.

There is now a QR code on his gravestone. Danny is hoping to embed a similar one on a plaque being erected in his honour by the Cork Ex-Boxers Association.

The founders of the new business are hoping to develop it further in the future with the help of the right investor.

Members of the public can contact the website www.thestoryof.io if they would like to have their own story or the story of their loved one recorded and embedded on a gravestone.

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