Boy (5) dies in farm accident while helping dad cut wheat
A FIVE-year-old boy tragically lost his life when he became tangled in a piece of farm machinery.
Liam Lyons died at around 2pm yesterday while his father Eoin was cutting wheat at a field in Ferbane, Co Offaly.
It's understood the child got out of the tractor to chase pheasants out of the field so they would not be struck by the mower. However, it's believed Liam became tangled in the machinery.
A helicopter and ambulances rushed to the field in the townland of Coole but the boy died at the scene.
His remains were taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore.
A local landowner, who witnessed the incident, said: "He was lying down in the grass when it happened. He had been chasing the pheasants out of the field so they wouldn't go under the mower.
"The father let the child off at the far end of the field. He was going in one direction around, but the child managed to get behind the tractor.
"As the father was coming back around, he didn't see him.
"He must have only seen him at the last second."
It was the first time the field had been used to grow crops in a number of years.
It's understood Liam was one of three children. He is survived by his parents Eoin and Marian, brother Patrick and sister Creagh who live in Rath near Kilcormac in Co Offaly.
Members of Liam's family were being consoled by friends at the family home yesterday evening.
A local woman described the incident as "a very sad situation" and said "the whole community is devastated".
Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority have launched separate investigations into the death.
Local councillor John Clendennen told the Irish Independent that he was shocked when he heard the news about the accident. "I know his parents, I know his family. I live five or 10 minutes away from him. It is a devastating tragedy, it is a terrible shock to the community.
"I would like to extend my condolences and deepest sympathy to the family. It is a very tough time for all the family and the community as well."
It is the third fatal farm accident involving children in the past few months.
The incident comes just days after a three-year-old boy died in another freak farm accident last Friday in Cork.
There were emotional scenes at the funeral of Fionn Mulhall who died in a freak accident in the yard of the family farm.
Fionn died last Friday when he suffered crush injuries after getting trapped beside a JCB which was working in the yard outside Drimoleague in west Cork.
He was buried after Mass of the Angels at the Church of Mary Immaculate in Dromore, Co Cork yesterday.
Relatives, neighbours and friends comforted his heartbroken parents, Greg and Imelda Mulhall.
The couple have three other children, John, Greg and Luke, ranging in age from five to 11 years.
Greg is a farmer while Imelda is a teacher based in Bantry.
A Health and Safety Authority investigation is also being carried out into that accident.
Brian Byrne and Emma Jane Hade