Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president Barclay Bell attended the annual Embrace FARM (Farming Accidents Remembered and Missed) remembrance service in Abbeyleix, Co Laois last weekend where hundreds of farming families, agribusiness representatives, ministers and counsellors attended.
The service gave those bereaved through tragic farm accidents the opportunity to come together and pay tribute to those who lost their lives across the island of Ireland.
The service was organised by Brian and Norma Rohan. Brian lost his own father to a farm accident and wanted to remember him and others in a fitting way.
The names of the deceased from each of the four provinces were read out. Barclay Bell read the list of names from Ulster. Following this a candle was lit for each province as a mark of remembrance. Agriculture Ministers Michelle O’Neill and Simon Coveney also presented a wreath to the Philpott family. They will place it on their family grave as a mark of respect and remembrance for those lost to farming accidents.
Speaking after the service Barclay said: “This service is a huge credit to Brian, Norma and all involved in its planning and organisation. Today we have been given the opportunity to pay tribute to those who lost their lives while also taking time to consider the devastating impact each of these accidents have had on the families left behind.
“The dangers of farming are widely known with almost 200 people having sadly lost their lives in farming related accidents over the past ten years.
“As we enter the summer months it is crucial that members of the farming community stay safe. Nothing can ever replace the loss of a loved one, always take time to consider the risks involved when working with farm animals or operating machinery.”