Remembering and raising awareness

Q&A: Brian Rohan
Remembering and raising awareness

An ecumenical remembrance service for the victims of farm accidents and their bereaved families, friends and neighbours will take place in the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, on Sunday, June 29.

“We quickly came to realise that there is little or no support available to families that have lost loved ones by way of emotional, practical, business, legal and financial advice,” says main organiser Brian Rohan, whose father, Liam Rohan was tragically involved in a 2012 freak accident on the family farm near Shanahoe in Co Laois, and sadly passed away three days later.

Liam Rohan represented the Republic of Ireland four times in the World Ploughing Championship, 1982 in Australia, 1985 in Denmark, 1987 in Austria and 1988 in the USA. He is survived by his wife Bridie and four adult children, John, Anne Marie, Mary Clare and Brian.

The family farm was a tillage and drystock enterprise in the early days. However, a pedigree herd of Holstein Friesian was established later, and milk is supplied all year round to Glanbia.

Brian Rohan says: “My wife Norma and I are organising a remembrance service on June 29. We will also remember all those who have survived serious accidents. Our aim is to create more awareness of farm safety, especially as primary schools get their summer holidays around this time.”

The aim is to make the event an annual remembrance, and to develop various support structures to help families come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

Farming is Ireland’s most dangerous job; almost 200 adults and children have lost their lives in farming accidents on the island of Ireland over the past 10 years.

Siobhan McSweeney (087-6561595), IFA, is one of the Co Cork contacts for information on the EMBRACE ecumenical remembrance service.

* What will happen at 2pm on Sunday, June 29?

>> An ecumenical service of readings, prayer and song will be celebrated by Catholic and Church of Ireland clergy, led by Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, supported by the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Waterford, Lismore, Ferns and Leighlin.

* Tell me about your EMBRACE support group, which is behind this event.

>>We hope to grow EMBRACE as a support group for those affected by farming accidents like ourselves. On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, my Dad was tragically involved in an accident on our family farm and sadly passed away on the following Friday, June 22, 2012. We quickly came to realise that there is little or no help as regards supports available to families that have lost loved ones by way of emotional, practical, business, legal and financial advice. We hope to grow EMBRACE FARM (Farming Accidents — Remembered and Missed) as a support group for all those affected by farming accidents.

* How can other bereaved families take part?

>>We hope to read out the names of people who have been lost through farm accidents. If you would like to attend the service, and perhaps have your loved one’s name read out, you can register your attendance and include your relative’s name in an email to us, or visit our Facebook page. You can also have their name included on our “In Memoriam” page. We will also be remembering those who have survived serious accidents.

* Who else is involved in the EMBRACE Remembrance Service?

>>We have received tremendous support from agribusiness, farm organisations, GAA, FTMTA, Health and Safety Authority, National Ploughing Association, Teagasc, the banks and Macra na Feirme. The service will be addressed by speakers from agri-organisations, counsellors and families directly impacted by farming accidents. Tea and refreshments will be sponsored by IFA.

Four international rugby players involved in farming will be provincial ambassadors for EMBRACE, and will also take part in the service. They are Rory Best of Ulster, Sean O’Brien of Leinster, John Hayes of Munster, and John Muldoon of Connacht.

* How can families contact EMBRACE?

>>Facebook: www.facebook.com/embracefarmaccidents.

Twitter : @Embrace Farm

Email : embrace.farm@gmail.com

Phone : +353 (0) 85-7709966

Website : www.embracefarm.com

Address : Embrace FARM, c/o Annegrove House, Mountrath, Co Laois

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