What’s left behind? Dealing with farm deaths

Coping with the emotional and practical consequences of the tragedy that is a farm death or serious accident is the focus of a new series of DVDs that has been commissioned by the Embrace, the support group for people affected by farm deaths.

This new initiative has been developed as a means of further educating farm families with regard to the devastating consequences of a serious farm injury or death. Each production, relates the experience of a farm family that is currently coping with the loss of a loved one in a farm accident.

The first in the series, which was unveiled at the Ploughing, reflects the views of the family and friends of Dermot Hogan, from Co. Offaly, who died recently in the wake of a farm fall.

The series of DVDs, which has been titled: ‘What’s left behind’, was officially launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Marine Simon Coveney at the National Ploughing Championships.

Speaking at the event, he said that 21 people have died on Irish farms this year. “That’s eleven more than the figure recorded at this time in 2014. I am aware that lots of excellent work has been done to improve farm safety standards on our farms. But the current figures clearly show that new thinking is needed.

“What’s required is a change of mindset that must trickle down to individual farm level throughout Ireland. I have recently agreed a new TAMS support measure which will allow farmers to improve the health and safety standards within their businesses.

“But the reality is this. As we move towards a new future for Irish agriculture, which will fully embrace 21st century technologies and business models, farmers must embrace the health and safety challenge that confronts them with equal gusto.”

He also said that more inspections will not resolve the challenge of improving health and safety standards on our farms. What’s required, in this context, is a re-doubling of the efforts made by all our farm stakeholder groups, where this fundamentally important issue is concerned.”

New Service

The Minister for Agriculture also has announced a new service that his Department will provide to the families of farmers who have suffered sudden tragedies and face subsequent challenges in their dealings with issues surrounding ownership, entitlements, scheme applications, succession and inheritance etc.

A sudden loss causes huge levels of stress on all families and in the particular case of farm families Minister Coveney said that “dealing with the business of running a family farm in the aftermath of a family tragedy places enormous pressure on those left behind. I want to ensure that my Department provides the necessary assistance during this period of distress”.

Families who find themselves in such circumstance may contact the Quality Customer Services Unit at [email protected] or lo-call 0761 064445 and the service will commence on Monday 29th September 2014.

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