A voluntary bereavement group set up up to support families to cope with death and injuries arising from farm accidents is spreading countrywide.
Embrace FARM has announced it is to establish a Mid-West branch of the network for families affected by fatal and non-fatal accidents.
An information night, hosted by Newtown, Co Tipperary native Angela Hogan, is to be held on Thursday night, (April 7) in the Castleoaks Hotel, Castleconnell, with a view to establishing a branch for the area.
It will be the fifth branch of the support group nationwide and will meet regularly to provide support to families who have had to deal with tragic deaths and serious injury arising from farm incidents.
Angela Hogan will bring her own experience of the benefits of participating in a network, having joined the very first support group in the Midlands two years ago to help her deal with the aftermath of her partner Brendan’s death in a tragic accident in 2011.
“Farm accidents can happen in the blink of an eye as I and many, many others unfortunately can testify.
“In a moment the lives of people are changed forever and afterwards you have no choice but to somehow try and soldier on.
“I found myself in such a position in 2011 when Brendan lost his life and it changed my and our two children’s lives forever.
“My and Brendan’s family and friends have been incredibly supportive but I have really found the Embrace FARM support group meetings hugely helpful in helping me come to terms with it all.
“Talking to other people who have either suffered the same dreadful experience or been affected by non-fatal accidents really helps.
“There’s fantastic solidarity in such a network and it’s not alone the emotional support you get but practical support also,” she said.
The information night in Castleconnell on Thursday is with a view to establishing a support group in the Mid-West.
“Every single county in the country has been affected by farm accidents over recent years but I could not emphasise enough the value of sharing your stories with others,” she said.
Embrace FARM was founded by Laois farmer Brian Rohan after his father Liam died following a farm accident in 2012.
It has been providing bereavement support for farm families who have, like Brian and Angela, lost a loved one or suffered serious injury in a farming accident.
Having started out with a Laois-based support group, it has now established other groups in Galway, Cork and Mullingar.
Said Brian Rohan: “We have had a lot of requests across the country to establish new groups and this will be our fifth.
“It makes a huge difference to people to be able to share their woes so we would really ask people who are affected to join us in Castleconnell for a chat and a cup of tea.”
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