Probes underway after boy, 2, dies in farmyard accident

A TWO-year-old child has lost his life in an apparent farmyard accident.

The young boy, from Raheen in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, died at 10am yesterday in what gardaí are treating as a tragedy.

The boy’s body was brought to Naas General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have begun separate investigations into the matter.

Almost half a dozen people have lost their lives on Irish farms since the start of January, with the strong likelihood that this year’s total will outstrip the number of deaths on farmland during the whole of 2009.

Before yesterday’s incident the most recent tragedy was the death of a 31-year-old man on a pig farm, outside Castleisland, Co Kerry, on Monday night.

Father-of-two Liam O’Connor was collecting a skip from the pig farm, at Fahaduff, about eight kilometres from Castleisland, when he became trapped between the hydraulic hoist of the skip and the skip itself.

Gardaí believe the accident may have occurred when Mr O’Connor, from Mountcollins, Co Limerick, arrived at the premises after everyone had left on Monday night.

His body was not found until the next morning.

While almost half a dozen deaths have already occurred on Irish farms since the start of this year, last year saw just 11 tragedies recorded in the sector.

This figure represented a 50% drop on the total for 2008, which stood at 21.

Despite the fall last year, the agriculture sector was still ranked as the most dangerous industry in which to work during 2009.

According to the HSA, Louth and Monaghan were the most likely counties for farm deaths last year, with three and two tragedies occurring in the regions respectively.

There was one fatality recorded in Clare, Cork, Longford, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow last year.


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