Elderly farmer (90s) who died in farming accident named locally

The man is the father of well-known writer

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Stock picture

Conor Kane

An elderly farmer who died following a farming accident in Kilkenny last night has been named locally today as the father of a well-known writer.

The man, in his early 90s, is believed to have been attacked by a cow that had recently calved and suffered fatal injuries at the dairy farm run by his son outside Johnstown in Co Kilkenny.

He was named locally as Jim Dowling, a father of five who was popular around Johnstown and further beyond. One of his children is Clare Dowling, the well-known novelist and screenwriter.

The tragedy is the fourth farming-related fatality of 2018 in this country.

The incident happened at around 9pm at the family farm at Sevensisters, Johnstown. It’s believed that Mr Dowling was helping to feed newly-born calves and had just fed one of twins and was about to feed the other when he was struck by the head of the calves’ mother.

Investigations have been launched by the Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority but the matter is being treated as a tragic accident.

Inspectors from the HSA were expected to carry out an examination of the scene on Thursday afternoon after being notified of the fatality.

Mr Dowling lived with his wife Anne on the family farm, which is now run by their son John who lives on a nearby house with his own wife and family.

“He would be well-known as a great community man all his life,” local councillor Mary Hilda Cavanagh, who lives in nearby Crosspatrick and knows the Dowling family, said.

“He would have been involved in anything that was good in the area. A great community man and a hard-working family.”

Clare Dowling is the author of numerous novels including My Fabulous Divorce, No Strings Attached and A Special Delivery, and has been a screenwriter with Fair City on RTÉ.

Online Editors