Wednesday 28 September 2016

Farm accident victims remembered

Published 29/06/2016 | 02:30

Former rugby international John Hayes at the Embrace Farm Accident Remembrance Service in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, yesterday. Photo: Don Moloney
Former rugby international John Hayes at the Embrace Farm Accident Remembrance Service in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, yesterday. Photo: Don Moloney

WELL-KNOWN figures from the worlds of sport and agriculture united at the Embrace Farm Accident remembrance service.

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Farmer and former Irish rugby player John Hayes joined hundreds of people marking the loss of loved ones to accidents on the country's farms.

Many families gathered for the weekend event in Abbeyleix, Co Laois which saw activities take place for the children as well as a remembrance service in the local church. Norma ­Rohan set up the support group for those impacted by farm deaths along with her husband Brian after the death of his ­father Liam in a farming accident.

Ms Rohan said the remembrance service was taking place at a busy time of year on farms when children are finishing up their school term.

Embrace hoped to send out a message on farm safety, but their primary aim was to support bereaved families.

Ms Rohan said many of the families who had attended in previous years were opting to again take the time out to remember their loved ones.

"There is a lot not talked about, the guilt, the pain and the feelings of responsibility," she said.

Ms Rohan said it was also a chance for children to make a connection with others that have lost a family member.

So far this year six people have lost their lives on Irish farms, while the figures show that 18 deaths occurred last year.

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