Son, 12, tried in vain to save his father after 10m fall from barn roof

A 12-year-old boy tried in vain to resuscitate his gravely-ill father after he fell 10m from a barn roof.

The father of three, named as Edmond Burke, 54, from Danganelly, Cooraclare, Co Clare, is understood to have fallen at his farm on Wednesday evening.

Mr Burke is believed to have been carrying out repairs to the roof of a hay shed at the time of the accident at about 5.30pm.

His elderly mother, Elizabeth, who had been in the yard at the time, discovered him lying on the ground and called out for help.

The victim’s son, Killian, also ran out, and took control of the situation, calling the ambulance service and providing directions to the scene over the phone to the radio controller.

The boy also attempted to resuscitate his father while paramedics gave him instructions over the phone.

Emergency services rushed to the scene, but despite further attempts to revive Mr Burke, they were unable to do so.

A doctor pronounced Mr Burke dead at the scene before his body was removed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick for an autopsy.

Local councillor and family friend, Bill Chambers, said: “This latest tragedy has come as another great shock to the system. This is the fifth tragedy in the area in recent years and the community is just devastated.

“Edmond was a great family man and a great worker and had everything going for him. Any tragedy like this is tough on a family, but with just a few weeks to go to Christmas, it will be particularly difficult.”

Mr Chambers, who had met Mr Burke at Kilrush mart earlier that day, said: “There’s a terrific local community here and many have already been up to the house helping to get things ready for the funeral.”

Mr Burke is survived by his wife, Mary, sons, Damian and Killian, and daughter, Zara, as well as his mother, Elizabeth.

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority are investigating the tragedy.

The area has been hit by a number of tragedies in recent years.

Last May, 74-year-old farmer Michael O’Dea from Clonina was killed as he tried to protect his son from an agitated cow on the family farm.

In Jun 2010, 65-year-old Michael McMahon died in a freak accident at his farm in Tullabrack.

In 2009, Jim Ahearn, 54, from Tullabrack East, and Peter Beckley, a 40-year-old doctor from Tullycrine, Co Clare, died in separate road traffic collisions.

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