Saturday 27 December 2014

All-Ireland hurler's dad crushed by tractor

Pat Flynn

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

An inspector from the Health and Safety Authority and a garda forensic technician examine the tractor at the scene of a tragedy in which a man lost his life in a farm accident.
An inspector from the Health and Safety Authority and a garda forensic technician examine the tractor at the scene of a tragedy in which a man lost his life in a farm accident.

A father-of-five has lost his life after being crushed by a tractor in Co Clare - the second farm death in the county in a fortnight.

Gerry O'Connell (57) was found dead next to his tractor in a shed around 700m from his home at Ballyea.

The farmer, described as extremely hard working, is survived by his wife Frances, sons Gearoid, David and Paddy and daughters Louise and Emma.

Gearoid is a member of the Clare U-21 hurling side that will play in the All-Ireland hurling final next week.

It is understood Mr O'Connell was last seen alive at around 7pm, when he left his home to move cattle from his uncle's land to sloblands close to the Shannon Estuary.

It's believed he had been moving cattle from a shed into a trailer when he was crushed .

It is understood a family member had gone up to the yard at around 9pm to see what had delayed him. "She saw the tractor at the shed and it was still running and there was no suggestion there was anything wrong," a neighbour said.

It's understood that family members returned to check on Mr O'Connell later and he was discovered before 10pm on Wednesday night.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The tragedy is the second to take place on a farm in Clare in a fortnight.

TJ McDonagh (38), an agricultural contractor from Liscannor Co Clare, died on August 20 after receiving a serious head injury when a tyre exploded.

Irish Independent

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