| 6.5°C Dublin

Farmer dies after cow kicks him in the head

A FARMER who survived a number of accidents in the past has died after he was kicked by one of his own cattle.

The death of Maurice Foley from Gortnaskehy in Araglin, Co Cork, is the fourth workplace fatality on a farm this year.

Mr Foley was tending to his cows on Sunday afternoon when he sustained serious injuries after he was kicked in the head by a suckler heifer.

He was rushed to Cork University Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead early yesterday morning after failing to regain consciousness.

Mr Foley was in his early 50s and the father of three children.

Originally from Kerry, he had been living in the area for 15 years and had been involved in a number of accidents in the past.

He was hurt by a bull last year and was said by locals to have been fortunate to have escaped serious injury. He was also hurt in an incident involving a horse several years ago.

"He was a very nice gentleman. I don't know what I can say; it was tough luck," said local resident Jim Linehan.

"He was accident prone all his life. He was a pure honest-to-God gentleman. He never lost the Kerry ways, he was a lovely person."

Kilworth and Araglin parish priest Fr Donal Leahy said the community was in shock.

"It is a terrible tragedy -- he was a very popular man and very highly respected."

His wife Margaret and their three children were being comforted by friends and neighbours yesterday.

Last night, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) launched an inquiry into the incident. In 2010, a total of 25 people died on Irish farms, a spokesperson for the HSA said.

Last year, over half of all workplace deaths were on farms, said the HSA.

The Irish Farmers' Association sympathised with the family following the death.

Irish Independent