A short version of death certificates will be available shortly, Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton has confirmed.

The shortened version will not include cause of death and is being introduced to assist families coping with losing a family member through suicide, violent death or substance abuse.

A statement from the Department of Social Protection stated that the omission of cause of death will apply only to short-form death certificates.

It will in no way affect the Register of Deaths or impact in any way on the compilation, extraction and publication of vital statistics.

It is a legal requirement in Ireland that every death that takes place in the State must be recorded and registered.

These are recorded in the Register of Deaths held by the General Register Office.

The Tánaiste said: "The only change being made is that people may, where they feel it necessary, obtain a short-form certificate which will not include the cause of death.

"This is to address the ongoing concerns from members of the public and public representatives that, where the death certificate must be presented at schools, for example, the cause of death can cause distress to loved ones in cases involving suicide, violent death and death from substance abuse, " she said.

Relatives of the deceased person will have the option of obtaining both a full certificate and a short-form certificate, and each document may be used for different purposes.