Shukurat Abiola (Abi) Williams died in an unexplained fire in her car, which was parked outside her apartment on Hendrick's Street, Dublin 7 in the early hours of 10 October. She was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery on 10 November.
Gardaí said early in the investigation that they did not believe she had been the victim of a racist attack and her death is not being treated as a suspicious. A Garda source said the precise cause of the fire was still the subject of an investigation. He said gardaí had had "ongoing liaison with the family".
Rasheed Lafiaji said his family had sought to view the remains, or to have a representative view them, at the city morgue. They were told this was not possible, and were given to understand that they would have an opportunity when the remains were released to the undertaker, he said. When they contacted the coroner's office on the eve of the funeral, they were told the remains had already been collected by the undertaker, Stafford's, he said.
Abi Williams was to be given a city burial and Stafford's had been contracted for this purpose by the coroner's office. Stafford's refused to allow the remains be viewed.
Jonathan Stafford said it would have been "wholeheartedly unprofessional" to allow the remains be viewed by the family because of the extensive burns to the body and the deterioration in the month since the death. He said he took this decision "to protect them in the longterm". He said it was explained to the family that they were free to contract another undertaker. However, he said he did not think any other undertaker would allow the remains be viewed.
Noel Hughes of the coroner's office said the family had been advised against viewing the remains. He said it was "their perogative" but that the coroner's office did not ordinarily provide facilities for this.
"Our primary purpose, in a forensic mortuary, is to establish a clear and positive identification. The viewing generally is a matter for funeral directors to organise on behalf of the family." (Abi Williams was identified by forensic tests and her remains were "unrecognisable".)
"The family were free at all times to make their own arrangements if they wished to do so."
There were angry scenes at Abi Williams's funeral service, at the mosque in Castleforbes Business Park in East Wall and later at Glasnevin Cemetery, as the family confronted the undertakers over their "right" to have the remains viewed. The family considered calling off the burial and having the remains returned to Nigeria, but ultimately agreed to go ahead with the burial.