Farmer killed after falling into slurry tank in Co Kerry

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University Hospital Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Ralph Riegel

A MAN died in a freak farm accident in Kerry as he was apparently trying to rescue livestock.

The man - who is in his late 50s or early 60s - died after it is believed he lost his footing and fell into a slurry tank on a farm outside Abbeydorney.

It is understood the man may have been trying to rescue a calf that had strayed near the edge of the tank and was at risk of toppling in.

READ MORE: Jim O'Brien: Every week needs to be a farm safety week

The accident occurred around 7pm on Monday at the holding some 4km outside Abberdorney.

When the alarm was raised the man was located and rescued from the pit.

However, despite desperate efforts to resuscitate him for transfer to University Hospital Kerry (UHK), he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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University Hospital Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

A post-mortem examination will be conducted at UHK by the State Pathologist's Office.

A file will be prepared for the Kerry Coroner.

The matter is being treated as a tragic accident.

The Health and Safety Authority confirmed they have been notified of the incident.

READ MORE: Maximum height for silage pits needed to prevent accidents, say contractors

As is routine in such cases, an inspection will be carried out.

The farmer will not be named until all relatives have been notified.

However, he was described as a hugely respected operator and a stalwart member of the Abbeydorney community.

The tragedy comes after 2018 proved to be one of the safest years in Irish workplaces over modern times, with almost a 24pc reduction in deaths (37) compared to the previous 12 months.

Safety groups had hailed last year's significant decline in workplace fatalities - which represented the lowest level of deaths at Irish workplaces in almost 30 years.

Farming remains the single most dangerous Irish occupation, accounting for almost half of the fatal accidents.

However, like the overall fatal accident level in 2018, the number of deaths on Irish farms declined last year (15) compared to 2017.

An estimated 500-plus workers have died in fatal workplace accidents in Ireland over the past decade.

Online Editors