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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Young man (26) died in tragic quad bike accident while helping father on farm

Farming accident toll rises as two men die in separate incidents

John Kennedy, of Moneyribbon, Coolgreaney, Gorey, Co Wexford, was working with cattle at the time of the accident
John Kennedy, of Moneyribbon, Coolgreaney, Gorey, Co Wexford, was working with cattle at the time of the accident

Brendan Furlong

Two men have died in separate farm accidents in Wexford and Offaly.

A 26-year-old man died following an accident involving a quad bike on his father's farm in north Wexford.

John Kennedy, of Moneyribbon, Coolgreaney, Gorey, Co Wexford, was working with cattle at the time of the accident.

He was helping his father, Donal, with the early morning milking when the accident occurred on the farm at around 7am yesterday.

Mr Kennedy had assisted his father in bringing in the first lot of cattle for milking. It is understood that he went back to the fields to bring in a further lot of cattle on a quad bike as his father continued the process in the milking parlour.

When Mr Kennedy didn't return back with the second lot of cattle, his father went to investigate. This led to a search of the fields. One neighbour said it was the noise coming from the engine of the quad bike that eventually led Donal towards the scene of the fatality.

"It was this noise which led him towards a ditch and dyke," the neighbour said.

"On reaching the dyke, which was full of water, he became aware of the quad bike.

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"Having lifted the quad bike he found John underneath.'

Gardaí and the emergency services attended the accident.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene before being transferred to hospital where a post-mortem examination will be carried out.

While the cause of death has yet to be confirmed, it is believed the man may have drowned in the dyke. It's not yet known how the quad bike ended up in the dyke. The scene was preserved for technical examination.

One local man, Jack Kavanagh, said the parish had been left numb as a result of the accident.

"John and his brother Colin played with the Castletown club. The family are highly regarded in the parish.

"This is a devastating blow for the family, but the parish will unite around them in their support."

Mr Kennedy, who had spent a year in Australia, returned home last year to take up employment in Cork where he also played hurling and football.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) also confirmed that a farmer died in a separate accident on a farm outside Birr, Co Offaly.

Retired Bord na Móna worker Rody Carroll (70), a father, was killed in an accident involving a tractor on a farm at Fivealley.

Mr Carroll was a member of the local Fianna Fáil cumman.

Toll

This brings to four the number of deaths on Irish farms to date this year.

A farmer in Roscommon died over the weekend when he sustained head injuries in another farming accident.

Earlier this year, an elderly man died in Co Wexford when working with farm machinery.

The accident also comes as the HSA continues its month-long intensive farm inspecting campaign.

The inspections are aimed at reducing the number of accidents resulting in injury and deaths on farms.


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