An eight-year-old boy has died in a farming accident in Galway today, bringing the number of farming deaths in Ireland to 17 this year.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed to Agriland that the incident happened between 11 and 11.30 this morning (Saturday) near Kilcolgan, Co. Galway.

Gardai were advised that the child was taken to Galway University Hospital and passed away later in the afternoon.

Unofficial reports suggest that the child was killed in a machinery-related accident.

Gardai also confirmed that the Health and Safety Authority has been informed of the farm death and are carrying out an investigation. The Garda spokesperson also confirmed that Gardai are also carrying out their own investigation.

Since the beginning of this year 16 other people have been killed in farm accidents around the country.

In May a two-year-old child was killed in West Cork when struck by the divider in a horsebox, while a four-year-old died in Mayo in July when struck by a trailer.

A Carlow 16-year-old boy died when a tractor and trailer overturned during the summer.

The Health and Safety Authority has repeatedly shown that children and older people are particularly vulnerable on farms.

Last year 30 people died in farming-related accidents in Ireland, the statistics from the Health and Safety Authority show.