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Safety First

Minister Coveney announces new service for bereaved farm families

So far this year 20 people have died in farming accidents.

MINISTER SIMON COVENEY has today announced a new service that will assist bereaved farm families.

This comes after a spate of deaths on farms this year. So far there have been 20 deaths, more than the total figure for the whole of last year. This includes the deaths of three children.

Speaking about the losses suffered through farming accidents, Minister Coveney said, “dealing with the business of running a family farm in the aftermath of a family tragedy places enormous pressure on those left behind. I want to ensure that my Department provides the necessary assistance during this period of distress.”

The new service will work to establish a single point of contact within the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for bereaved families. This person would be located in the Quality Customer Services Unit and would deal with practical issues facing a family after a loss.

The service will commence on September 29.

The launch of the new service coincides with the launch of a series of videos by farm fatality support group EMBRACE Farm entitled ‘What’s Left Behind’. The series of videos is focused on showing the damage caused to families by farm deaths.

ballywire / YouTube

Speaking at the launch, founder of EMBRACE Farm Brian Rohan, said:

Farming has become much more mechanised over recent decades and that has clearly increased the risk.   My concern is that as farming intensifies over the coming years, it could get worse.
Speaking about the work being done by the group Minister Coveney said:
I want to commend the very fine work being led by EMBRACE. I was privileged in June to attend a special service in Abbeyleix, where I met and spoke with members of farm families who lost a loved one in very tragic circumstances.
Their loss was huge and yet their spirit was indomitable, wanting to pick up the pieces and get on with the business of farming as best they could.

Read: After another death, calls for farm safety to be taught to primary school kids

Also: Over 45% of farmers’ family members treated for mental health, with half impacted by suicide

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