Safety warning issued after death of boy (11) on dairy farm
THE IRISH Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has warned farmers and the public to be vigilant during current seasonal farm work involving heavy machinery and farm vehicles.
It follows the death on Wednesday of a boy in Tipperary, who was struck by a trailer near his family farm at Brensha, three miles from Tipperary town.
Alan Quirke (11), a son of dairy farmer Pat Quirke and his wife Imelda (Lowry), was pronounced dead shortly afterwards in hospital. According to gardaí, the boy was struck by a trailer that was pulled by a four-wheel drive vehicle at his home early on Wednesday evening.
“It was a tragic accident,” said a Garda spokesman.
Pat McCormack, deputy president of the ICMSA, expressed his condolences to the couple, who have two other sons, Liam and Gary.
“All our thoughts are with the Quirke and Lowry families at this terrible tragic time for them. Pat Quirke is a pioneer farmer, a top-class dairy farmer, who runs a very efficient commercial dairy operation. The Quirkes are very popular in farming and the Lowrys are extremely well known in Tipperary GAA circles,” Mr McCormack added.
In a general safety message, the chairman of the ICMSA’s rural development committee, Willie O’Donoghue, urged rural dwellers to be extra vigilant over the next few weeks as farmers make hay while the weather remained good.
With the recent bad weather hitting farmers hard, the silage season looked likely to be a frantically busy period on farms, as contractors and farmers tried to harvest silage as quickly as possible, the association said.
“It’s crucial that both farmers and contractors ensure all work is carried out in a safe environment and at no time should safety standards be relaxed,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
“We would appeal to all other road users – and most particularly, visitors to farming areas – to be aware of the dangers of increased agricultural traffic on rural roads and the need to slow down.”