Sunday service to honour victims of farm accidents

Large crowds are expected to attend an inaugural Ecumenical Remembrance Service organised by Embrace Farm for the victims of farm accidents, which will take place in the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, at 2pm on Sunday next, June 29.
Sunday service to honour victims of farm accidents

All four provinces will be represented by rugby stars, with Sean O'Brien, Rory Best, John Hayes and Adrian Flavin due to attend. Also present will be Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan.

John Hayes joined Embrace Farm founder Brian Rohan to promote this Sunday's service on TV3 show Ireland AM this week. Brian's father, Liam Rohan, was killed in a farm machinery accident in June 2012. They were joined by Kerrie Smyth, of Stabannon Macra na Feirme, Co Louth) Kerrie.

"This Sunday's service will be an opportunity to remember people who are gone, to call out their names," said Norma Rohan, wife of Brian.

Faced with the immediate implications of Liam's death, Brian and Norma Rohan had no choice but to continue working the family farm in Shanahoe, a little village in Co Laois. One of the big challenges for farmers is finding time to grieve.

"It is a tough time to go through," said Norma. "Farming people will understand that there's a business at the back door, cows who don't understand that something tragic has happened. Then there's all the legal and financial issues, on top of the emotional side of losing someone.

"We are getting a lot of people reaching out to us. Some people are in an awful state, dealing with the legal, financial and emotional challenges. We are also getting calls from people who have lost somebody 30, 40 or 50 years ago, who want to connect with someone who understands why their loss is still affecting them all these years later."

Among Embrace Farm's supporters due to attend on Sunday will be representatives of the IFA, Health and Safety Authority, the Farm Builders Association, FTMTA, Teagasc, Bord Bia, FBD and Glanbia, whose chief executive Siobhan Talbot is expect to attend.

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