Support for grieving family of Liam Lyons (5) who died in farming accident
The grim tally of 17 deaths on Irish farms so far in 2014 has already surpassed all the lives lost in farming accidents during 2013.
The body of the latest young victim, Liam Lyons, has been returned to his family home in Rath, Co Offaly, as his grieving parents prepare to bury the five-year-old tomorrow.
The little boy lost his life after becoming entangled in a tractor while helping his father cut wheat on Monday. He was the fourth child to die on an Irish farm this year.
Local parish priest Fr John Moorhead said the community was doing everything it could to support Liam's parents Eoin and Marian, brothers Patrick and Niall and sisters Creagh and Liadhan.
"They are excellent parents and a really good family, and this is just terrible," he said.
Liam had just completed junior infants and was preparing to enter senior infants next month, he said.
The death toll of 17 so far this year is already ahead of last year's total of 16. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) warned it could easily exceed the tally of 22 fatalities in 2010 and 2011. Four of the deaths have been farmers over 65 years, while four children have died on farms.
Last Friday three-year-old Fionn Mulhall died after being crushed beside a JCB in the farmyard of his family farm outside Drimoleague, Co Cork.
There is a particular danger on farms during the busy summer months when children are off school, the HSA said.
"We recognise that a farm is a home as well as a workplace, so the family can also be exposed to the dangers that exist," said HSA chief executive Martin O'Halloran.
Liam Lyons will be reposing at his home in Raheenglass from 3pm today. The removal of his remains takes place at 11am tomorrow to St John's Church in Rath for Mass of the Angels followed by burial in Rath Cemetery.
The house is private on Thursday morning.