A farmer was left with a prosthetic leg after he got wrapped up in the power shaft of his diet feeder. He told a Farm Safety Conference that when he looked down his leg was “gone clean off”.

Peter Gohery, a suckler and tillage farmer from Co. Galway was speaking at the All-Island Farm Safety Conference in the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan.

“My story happened back in ’09 and it was simple how it happened. It was a lovely fine day and I got wrapped up in the power shaft of the diet feeder.

“I was in construction, so I has 15 to 20 lads working for me. I made sure that if health and safety came along to the site that I had paperwork for everyone, that they were all protected.

“But yet when I went home in the evening I forgot about it, it all went out the gate.

It will never happen to me was always my motto.

Gohery thought to himself that he was a big strong guy, doing all the training, doing everything right for all the lads; that it will never happen to him.

“But yet I went out that evening, a pair of steel toe-capped wellingtons on, the overalls on and a good strong pair of overalls.

“My knee came out through the waterproof section and I cut off the overalls but I didn’t cut them properly; I left a small little tail on the side of it.”

When he was hopping off the tractor that day, he heard a knocking coming from inside the diet feeder and he looked inside the diet feeder to see what was causing it.

“I decided, as I walked around the back of the tractor, to change the hydraulic pipes so that when get back up on the tractor everything would be working perfectly.

When I went to stand back I noticed that I couldn’t feel my left leg touch the ground and I looked down and my leg was gone clean off me.

“It happened that fast. My next reaction was to hit the button on the side of the mud-guard and to turn the PTO off and I said Id be fine.

“But it had pulled me in at this stage and threw me over on the ground on the other side. It very nearly took the right leg as well.

“I was lucky, I got a leg. With the first leg I spent 16 weeks learning how to walk. The second leg cost me €10,000, the third leg cost €12,000 and the biggest problem with me was that I was still trying to farm; I was burning the leg out too quick.

The leg I’m wearing today is costing in the region of €40,000; who is going to fund you that?

Gohery became a member of Embrace FARM  after his accident and since he has joined he has heard about a lot of hardship from farmers.

Gohery then told farmers that there was no point being at the farm safety conference unless they were going home to change something.