Farm Ireland

Monday 20 August 2018

Tributes paid after top cattle breeder dies in farm accident

Thelma Gorman with then Agriculture Minister for Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill at 2014 Armagh Show
Thelma Gorman with then Agriculture Minister for Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill at 2014 Armagh Show

David Young

Tributes have been paid today to the woman who was killed in a farm accident in Co. Armagh yesterday.

Top cattle breeder Thelma Gorman (67) was killed when she was moving livestock on a farm at Drumhirk.

Crews from both the Ambulance Service and Northern Ireland Air Ambulance were called to the scene at the farm, but Mrs Gorman's life could not be saved.

The PSNI and Northern Ireland Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident.

Mrs Gorman's family have been farmers in the Armagh area for generations.

She had been involved in the breeding of pedigree Simmental cattle for many years.

She was also a director of the Armagh County Agricultural Show.

In 2016 Mrs Gorman was honoured as an 'Unsung Hero' of Northern Ireland's tightly-knit farming world.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Speers said: "I knew Thelma Gorman and her family well.

"This is an absolute tragedy. She was an absolute lady, a lovely person. This will be a terrible blow to her family."

Mr Speers said Mrs Gorman was a very caring woman, who was dedicated not only to her family but also to the local community.

"She was a long-time stalwart of the Armagh Show and it wouldn't be what it is today without her help and guidance," he added.

"Thelma and her husband Peter also provided valuable respite care for children with learning disabilities.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

"This is another tragic example of how dangerous farming can be.

"But at this moment the community will be focusing on providing sympathy and support to the family."

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin also expressed his shock at the death.

He said: "I knew Thelma well and I am really saddened by this awful news.

"I want to express my sincerest condolences with her husband and family circle at this very difficult time. Thelma will be greatly missed in the community by all who had the pleasure of knowing her."

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson told the Belfast Telegraph: "This is a devastating tragedy for the Gorman family.

"My prayers are with her family circle, and especially her husband Peter."

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