Father of four killed in horrific farm accident
A father of four was killed in a horrific farm accident after his clothes became tangled in machinery yesterday.
The Health and Safety Authority and gardai have launched separate investigations into the tragedy, which claimed the life of Sean Mulligan in Co Offaly.
Mr Mulligan, who was in his 50s, was a married agricultural contractor from Geashill with four sons.
It is understood that Mr Mulligan suffered horrific injuries after his clothes became caught in agricultural machinery while he was working with a tractor at a friend's farm between Daingean and Ballinagar at 11.30am.
Mr Mulligan's body was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital at Tullamore.
His death is Ireland's first farm fatality this year.
Local independent councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick said Mr Mulligan was a "hugely popular" figure in the area.
He described the accident as "a serious blow for Geashill and the north Offaly area".
The tragedy is the second to hit the rural community of Geashill in just under a fortnight, and comes just nine days after the funeral of Geashill native Donal Bolton.
Mr Bolton was killed when he was struck by an out-of-control car in Cairns, Australia, on January 6. He was laid to rest following a funeral Mass in Ballinagar on Saturday, January 16.
"I was talking to him (Sean Mulligan) in the church at that funeral," explained Mr Fitzpatrick, who described the family as "decent, hard-working people".
News of the death has been "devastating" for the community, according to local Monsignor Thomas Coonan.
"We have had a tragedy just a while back and now we have had another," he added.
Msgr Coonan said the family is very well-known and liked in the area.
"It's devastating, so all we can do is try and comfort the family as best we can and I know the community will rally around them," he added.