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Locals heartbroken at tragic death of 'pillar of the community' (84)


The 84-year-old was also very well known within the local rugby community.

The 84-year-old was also very well known within the local rugby community.

The 84-year-old was also very well known within the local rugby community.

Friends and neighbours of the farmer who died in the tragic farming accident on Monday morning said he was a “pillar of his community”.

Philip Furlong (84) died in a farming accident near Adamstown, New Ross, Wexford which is understood to have involved a tractor.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and brought to Waterford University Hospital.

Rev. Robert Nolan of St Abbans said that everyone is “heartbroken” by the tragic accident.

“Philip was a very popular, decent man. The family are very high respected in the community and very well know. Everyone is devastated by this tragedy and our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time,” he said.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out and the scene at the farm has been preserved.

The 84-year-old was also very well known within the local rugby community.

New Ross Rugby Club paid tribute to Mr Furlong on their Facebook page.

“The members of New Ross RFC offer their deepest condolences to Billy Furlong, former 1st team captain and Chairman, and to his family on the death of his father Philip. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Furlong family at this time. R I P.”

He is said to have been a member of an extensive farming family in the Adamstown area.

John Keogh of St Abbans Community Centre said: “Philip was a very good farmer and worker. He was one of the founder members of the hall committee at St Abbans. He organised dancers, concerts and many other events over the years.

“He was a very nice man and definitely a pillar of the community. It is very unfortunate what happend,” he said.

Mr Furlong is survived by  his wife Kat, son Billy and daughter Geraldine.

It is the first farming accident of 2017 and one of two workplace fatalities to occur on Monday

In a separate incident, a 74-year-old man died following a workplace accident at Corby Rock Mill near Monaghan town on Monday. 

He was taken to Cavan General Hospital where he later passed away.

Local councillor Paudge Connolly said: "It’s a tragic accident for any family and particularly after Christmas. I would like to extend my sympathies to the family at this difficult time".

Last year 21 people lost their lives in farming accidents, including an 84-year-old man in Galway just days before Christmas.

On average 19 people die on Irish farms every year. Speaking to recently Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland, with responsibility for agriculture said ongoing efforts by the HSA to reduce the number of farm deaths would continue to focus on education and raising awareness of the dangers on farms.

"We approach the agricultural sector in a more preventative role, different to other sectors.

"Inspections are never going to solve the problem. We have 130,000 farm units and with 2,500 or 3,000 farm inspections year it's going to take a long time to visit every farm.

"Farm inspections are a way of sampling what is out there and seeing how things are and where the major risks are and try to develop systems that will help the farming community to deal with those risks."

Online Editors