Minute’s silence for former competitor who died in farming accident

Martin Kehoe Jr (33), a father of three from New Ross, died at the family farm

Martin Kehoe jnr (33) died at the family farm in Foulksmills, New Ross.

Martin Kehoe jnr (33) died at the family farm in Foulksmills, New Ross.

 

A minute’s silence was observed at the National Ploughing Championships for a former competitor who died in a farming accident.

Martin Kehoe Jr (33), a father of three from Foulksmills, New Ross, died on Tuesday when he was overcome by molasses fumes at the family farm.

Mr Kehoe Jr came from a family who have been heavily involved in the ploughing for decades. His father Martin Snr was a world champion three times. Martin Jr also competed.

At 10am a minute’s silence was held in the ploughing plots before the start of the competition.

The Kehoe Family Ltd stall at the championships was shut with a sign “closed due to bereavement”.

Last year 20 people died in farm accidents in Ireland.

‘Too many’ accidents

Speaking at the championship, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed described the Keogh family as “blue bloods in the context of the championships”.

Mr Creed said farm safety remained a big challenge for the industry. “We have far too many fatal accidents,” he added.

“This is not an issue that the State or my department alone can solve. I would urge children to become ambassadors for safety in their own farmyard.

“We need to bring to bear on this issue the same collaborative approach that we have done generally in agriculture that helped us to become a global leader.”

A crowd of 87,000 people attended the ploughing on Wednesday which is traditionally the busiest day.

That’s down on the 112,500 who attended on the opening day of this year’s championships and the 111,000 visitors who attended on the equivalent day last year.

The drop in attendance is attributable to the bad weather with heavy rain all day on Wednesday.

Thursday is forecast to be a much better day and is expected to be dry.