Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West, Chris MacManus, who is a member of The Left Group in the European Parliament is asking farmers to share their views and experiences on farm safety and personal well-being via an online survey.

This will help to paint a proper picture of the state of Ireland’s farmers’ physical and mental states.

“Farming has one of the highest fatality rates. In the last 10 years, 210 deaths on farms or in forests occurred. Nearly half of these related to tractor operation,” MacManus said.

“I think the number of accidents recorded, although significant, is too low to be accurate. I would like to hear from farms about their own experiences in this regard.”

However, as mentioned in the name, the survey also takes into account farmers’ well-being.

“The importance of looking after ourselves not just physically but also mentally cannot be overstated,” MacManus continued.

“Many farmers live alone and are getting close to or past retirement age. Covid-19 further limited the amount of social interactions, for example the cancellation of marts and other opportunities to socialise with fellow farmers.

“The cost-of-living crisis and a major rise in operational costs is having a significant impact on our farming communities and we feel it is time we checked in with our farmers to see how they are coping and whether society needs to be doing more to reach out and ensure everyone has a friendly ear when they need it.

“The information we collect will be invaluable in terms of making sure Sinn Féin and The Left Group can properly represent the concerns of Irish Farmers in the European Parliament,” he concluded.

The survey takes two minutes to complete.