Embrace FARM, the farm accident support group, will hold a farm accident survivors’ conference in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, on Saturday, November 25 from 12:00pm to 3:30pm.

The aim of the event – said to be the first of its kind –  is to provide information and support to survivors and witnesses of accidents. Speakers will include survivors and their families, covering the impact of the accident in areas such as rehabilitation, occupational and mental health.

Survivors will tell how they are coping with their life-long injuries, such as adjusting to a prosthetic limb, living with daily pain and dealing with recurrent flashbacks.

Information will be provided on social welfare as well as financial and legal areas, making adaptions to farm machinery, and the use of prosthetics. The day is also an opportunity for survivors to make their voices heard about their requirements.

Organiser, Peter Gohery, from Eyrecourt, Co. Galway, who lost his leg in an accident with a PTO shaft at his farm in 2009, said that Embrace FARM had done a lot of work helping families affected by a death as a result of a farm accident.

The focus at this event, he said, will be on survivors and their families who can be affected in a whole range of ways, and the fact that a lot of farm accidents are not reported.

We will have a trauma specialist there, as well as counsellors. It will be a safe environment for people to speak and ask questions.

Everybody affected by a traumatic accident is welcome to attend the conference. Registration will be at 11:30am, with tea.

There have been a number of farm accidents in recent weeks. They include: an attack by a bull on a farmer in his 40s on a farm situated close to the Laois/Carlow border; the trapping of an elderly man against a gate while loading livestock at Castlerea mart; and the serious injury of a six-year-old boy in a farm accident in Co. Laois, when a 4X4 reportedly rolled over the child.

Two farmers tragically lost their lives in separate farm accidents when making repairs to buildings following damage caused by Storm Ophelia and Storm Brian.