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Farmer who died after being attacked by cow attended Mass hours before tragedy


The 77 year old farmer, Patrick (Paddy) Geraghty, who died on Saturday night after being attacked by a newly calved cow, attended Mass a short time before the attack.

Fr. John Loftus, parish priest has said that Mr Geraghty was “a great man of the community and of the parish”.

"It was a huge shock to me and the parishioners having just seen Paddy at mass only an hour or so before the tragedy occurred,” he said.

"Paddy loved farming and taking care of his stock with his wife Ellen (Ellie), and I suppose in one way, he died doing what he loved.

"The Geraghty family are a lovely family and we as a parish are praying for them during this terribly hard time.

"We’ve got a very tight-knit community here. The people in rural communities are a great support to other in times of need and tend to have a strong faith.

"Paddy will be sadly missed by the entire parish and surrounding community.”

One local man described Mr Geraghty and his wife as being noted in the community for their warm, welcoming and hospitable nature.

"You never left their house hungry or dry. Anyone who visited them got a home-cooked meal and a bottle of fine whiskey was put on the table,” he said.

"Patrick was known for how well he kept himself and his land. He always dressed smartly and his farm was clean and well looked after.

"He left Ireland at a young age and went to work in England in construction. He spent most of his adult life there, where his two grown up children remain.

"Around 20 years ago he came home to the Erris Peninsula where he and Ellie have lived and farmed since.

"It’s an absolutely tragic incident and the whole community has been left reeling.”

It’s understood Mr Geraghty was checking on the cow on Saturday evening when the animal charged at him, leaving him seriously injured. Mr Geraghty was treated by emergency services at the scene before being airlifted in an Irish Coastguard helicopter to University College Hospital in Galway.

He passed away at the hospital some time later.

Sean Carey, an elected member of Mayo County Council in the Belmullet Electoral Area, commented that the community was stunned by the tragedy.

“We especially feel for Patrick’s family on their sad and sudden loss”, Councillor Carey said.

Jarlath Walshe, Mayo IFA Country Chair says that the incident highlights how impossible it is to predict a newly calved cow’s behaviour and how important it is to always exercise caution.

"It’s an awful tragedy and it underlines the danger of dealing with newly calved cows. They’re so unpredictable and you can never tell how they’re going to react.

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“I, along with the entirety of Mayo IFA, extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Geraghty’s family and the surrounding community of Erris at this truly sad time.”

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has frequently highlighted the danger posed by newly calved cows and heifers to farmers has said an investigation into this tragedy has been launched.

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