Families tell of heartbreak as farm deaths double in 2014
FARM deaths have doubled this year with 21 fatal accidents, as families left behind drive a new safety campaign to help save lives.
Sons and daughters attending the Ploughing Championships yesterday told of the heartache experienced by those left behind.
Brian Rohan started coming to the ploughing with his father Liam when he was 11 years old.
Liam was an all-Ireland ploughing champion who remained healthy and active until his death two years ago at the age of 74, when machinery fell on him at the family farm in Shanahoe, Co Laois.
Now Brian is spearheading a farm safety drive using harrowing video testimony from bereaved families.
Brian founded the Embrace Farm group to help families who suffer similar losses, and wants to warn others of the "awful reality" left by each tragic death. So far this year 21 people have died, compared with just 10 in the same period of 2013.
"There's the terrible emotional pain that is so obvious but then there's the huge practical pain, that many people don't realise at the time, of who picks up the pieces. Who farms the farm when the farmer dies?" said Brian.
Eugene Hogan, whose brother Dermot died just two months ago when he fell from a shed on his farm in Co Offaly, said: "Nothing can prepare you for the reality of such an unexpected loss".