Back on track five years after a near-fatal farmyard accident
Laois farmer had to put his business plans on hold after sustaining serious head injuries
Just five years after a near fatal farm accident Dominic Leonard is pressing ahead with an on-farm shop to sell their organic produce direct to customers
"I was very lucky, lets be honest," he said looking back at the 2010 accident which saw him rushed to Beaumont Hospital before moving on to the National Rehabilitation Hospital at Dun Laoghaire for recuperation.
"I've no memory - head injuries do that to you. We think I was probably trying to tag a calf, and I was taking a risk with a nice quiet cow who turned out not to be so quiet. Basically, it pushed me into a wall and I cracked my skull."
Now, the father-of-three who runs Castlewood Organic Farm and shop, near Durrow in Co Laois,with his wife Alison Duck, is extremely cautious around the cows and calves and urges others to do the same.
"The cow now is completely separate if I'm doing anything to a calf," said the suckler and sheep farmer, as he hosted a gathering of dozens of farmers as part of a Leitrim Organic Farmers Co-op and Slaney Foods farm walk. "It is all about safety now."
At the time, Dominic had been planning to open up a farm shop to sell everything from their organic beef and lamb to homemade biscuits.
However, the accident meant this was put on hold but they pressed ahead and opened it in recent months with funding from Leader.
"It was a long time in the offing. I got planning permission in 2010 and then it had to be shelved for a couple of years after I nearly died," he said.