Farm Ireland
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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ploughmen join together in emotional minute's silence for fallen comrade

"It's an unbelievable disaster" - Community in shock after death of much-loved family man Martin Kehoe Jnr
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

A minute’s silence took place to mark the death of former National ploughman and father of three Martin Kehoe Jnr ahead of the competition his father was due to take part in at the Ploughing today.

In the National Ploughing Tent a single candle burnt throughout the day to mark the event. 

It was placed there by the charity Embrace, which offers support to families who have lost of a loved one in a farming accident.

Martin Kehoe Jnr, a son of Martin Kehoe, the world champion ploughman was a well-known farmer in his thirties, died yesterday when he was involved in a farming accident involving a molasses tank. It is understood that he was changing a pipe when tragedy struck.

Speaking at the farm where the tragedy happened, the victim's uncle Willie Kehoe said; "It's terrible. Martin was the best of the best.

"It's an unbelievable disaster."

The grieving uncle said the whole family was completely stunned by what had happened and today in Tullamore his ploughing compatriots paid tribute to the young man.

Martin Junior and his wife Kerrie had recently celebrated the birth of their third child, a son, just three months ago and the couple also had two young daughters.

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"Everything had been going so well for Martin and the family.  He had a great business going with meal and animal feeds. The business was absolutely flying," he said.

"My own son Seamus was best friends with Martin.  He and all of us are devastated by what's happened.

Martin Junior had achieved national success as a young man in ploughing championships but had given up competitive ploughing to concentrate on the family farm business.

His grandfather Willie won numerous senior titles for ploughing and the tradition was passed on down through the family.

Willie Kehoe, a brother of world champion ploughman Martin Snr, is also renowned in the area for his sporting career in international tug-of-war events.

Speaking at the Ploughing today, Anna May McHugh said the family is synonymous with the ploughing as his father Martin was due to compete in the senior conventional class.

Martin Snr won the senior All Ireland on 12 occasions and three times world champion. Ms McHugh said the young farmer had also competed in the Under-21 class and was a former national champion himself.

"My deepest sympathy to his wife Kerrie and his three children who are very young," said Mrs McHugh.

"We are deeply saddened about that news because his father Martin was on the site here preparing for the competition.

"Anyone that speaks about ploughing the first person that they mention is Martin Kehoe as he was wonderful for encouraging the younger people to plough and he had done a lot. His own three daughters competed in the farmerette class," she said.

"We are deeply saddened."

Martin Kehoe Snr was coaching the under-21 when he got the news, while his brother Willie John Kehoe was working on the Kehoe Farming stand.

Martin Jnr will repose at his father's home in Ballybrack tomorrow from 12pm, the removal will take place on Friday to St Aidan's Chuch in Clongeen, with the funeral mass at 2pm and burial directly afterwards in the new cemetery in Clongeen.

Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspectors attended the scene of the accident in Foulksmills, Co Wexford.

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