Longford farmer to host safety event in response to farm fatalities

A Co. Longford farm will host a “hands on” safety event this evening, Wednesday, June 19, in response to the number of farm fatalities this year.

Gavin White took up the positions of chairperson of the Longford branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) in February, and since then has looked to organise an event of this type.

He will host this evening’s event on his own farm in Abbeyshrule, in the south-east of the county, at 7:00pm.

It’s a new approach. It’s more hands on then having a meeting in the local hotel.

“If everyone can learn one thing, that’s a bonus,” White told AgriLand, who also encouraged people to bring their children and teenagers to the event, particularly with the school holidays around the corner.

A wide range of topics will be covered this evening, including what to do if you should come across a serious farm accident.

For this purpose, representatives from Ballymahon Fire Brigade will be on hand to instruct people how to handle a situation where they are the ‘first responder’.

Other demonstrations will include:

  • Trailer safety, with the Roscommon-Longford Garda Road Policing unit;
  • General tractor and machinery safety;
  • Livestock handling, with the IFA’s Vincent Nally;
  • ATV safety and student awareness, with Next Generation Farm Safety.

Raymond Dooley, from Next Generation Farm Safety, stressed the importance of ATV safety and farm safety in general, saying that there has been “too many deaths this year”.

Dooley is particularly keen for “the next generation of farmers” – second and third level students – to come to the event and make themselves “more aware of the danger”.

He also highlighted the “good variation” of demonstrations that will be on show this evening.

If you’re interested in attending, the Eircode for Gavin White’s farm is N39 P827.

Next Generation’s demonstration follows on from recent successful events, including at Ballymahon Vocational School and an Embrace Farm event in Co. Clare.

Their event in Clare was hampered by rain, but host farmer White has thought of that eventuality: Tonight’s event will include indoor accommodation for guests.

As for whether or not this “hands on” approach to farm safety will get the message across, White said: “All is to be proven tonight.”