Farmers urged to take care after death over weekend

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has issued a further warning to farmers to be safety-conscious when using tractors and other machinery.

Farmers urged to take care after death over weekend

There were 30 fatalities in farming and tractor-related accidents in 2014, and eight so far this year, the latest involving a 57-year-old man in Kerry at the weekend.

It is understood that Sean O’Sullivan, a father of two sons, from Dromid, was standing on the hitch of a trailer bringing turf from the bog when the accident happened at Gortatlea, Mastergeehy, near Waterville, on Saturday evening.

Gardaí are investigating the incident, but a Health and Safety Authority spokesman told the Irish Examiner it was not investigating.

“As this was a road traffic accident, it is outside our remit,” he said. “We only investigate accidents in work-related situations or in a commercial situation.”

Kerry IFA chairman Sean Brosnan said the number of such accidents was “frightening” and, in the absence of sufficient safety inspectors, he called on farmers to implement their own safety regimes.

“I’m sure Mr O’Sullivan was doing something he did many times before, but there are dangers and people must be more careful and more vigilant,” said Mr Brosnan.

“This is the second such accident in Kerry this year and, while there’s been a drop in the accident rate nationally, the numbers are still far too high.”

Waterville parish priest Fr Gerard Finucane was preparing to say Mass on Saturday evening, at Killeenleigh Church, when he received a call to go to the scene where family members and neighbours had gathered.

“It was a shock to me and to the local community. There’s been a sense of tragedy around the parish and there’s great sympathy for Sean’s wife, Mary, and his sons,” he said.

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