Tuesday 25 October 2016

Farmer knocked to ground by heifer suffered fatal head injuries - inquest

Gareth Naughton

Published 13/05/2015 | 16:44

Beaumont Hospital
Beaumont Hospital

A farmer died after a heifer went out of control and knocked him to the ground, an inquest has heard.

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Seamus Walsh (61), a father-of-five from Carralavin, Bonniconlon, Ballina in Co Mayo, suffered severe head injuries when he was struck by the heifer after it charged at him on February 15 last year.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the animal was not spooked by anything at the time but was known to be “wild”.

The heifer – along with another cow - was being moved by Mr Walsh from a field across a road into a pen when the accident happened.

He was being helped by Seamus Ruane whose deposition was read into the court in his absence. He told Gardaí that Mr Walsh went up to the field where the cattle were with a bucket of feed.

The two cattle followed him out of the field and ran out passed both men toward the pen. When they made it to the pen, one of the cattle turned.

“I tried to stop this heifer cow from going by me, but I knew by the look of it, it wasn’t going to stop,” Mr Ruane told Gardaí.

“Seamus had told me that she was wild. She ran out passed me. Seamus was about 15 to 20 yards behind me. He put up his two hands and he was holding a stick but there was no stopping her. He was roaring at her”.

The heifer ran straight across Mr Walsh and he fell to the ground hitting his head off the road. The animal continued on up the road.

The accident was also witnessed by Darren Durcan who had parked his car further on up the road in order to help move the cattle.  When asked if anything had scared the cattle, he said the heifer had just turned.

The two men ran to Mr Walsh’s aid. He was not breathing well and they kept him comfortable until paramedics arrived.

Mr Walsh was taken to Mayo General Hospital where an emergency CT scan found he had suffered a severe head injury. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital where he died a week later on February 22.

The post-mortem found he had suffered severe cranial trauma in the incident.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

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