Coroner alarmed at level of farm-accident deaths

Increase “should be message to farming community... which should cause significant concern’

Offaly coroner Brian Mahon said “farm accidents are now an issue of major concern” and the increase “should be a message to the farming community that the situation is now at a level which should cause everybody significant concern”. File photograph: Getty Images

Offaly coroner Brian Mahon said “farm accidents are now an issue of major concern” and the increase “should be a message to the farming community that the situation is now at a level which should cause everybody significant concern”. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A coroner in the midlands has described the number of fatal farm accidents as a major concern.

Offaly coroner Brian Mahon was commenting at the inquest in Tullamore into the death of Rody Carroll, a 70-year old farmer and father-of-five, who died in an incident involving a tractor at his farm in Dowras, Fiveally, near Birr, last March.

“We have had a number of farm accidents before the Coroners Court, particularly in the last year,” he said. “I think this is the third farm accident I have heard this year.”

‘Significant concern’

Mr Mahon said “farm accidents are now an issue of major concern” and the increase “should be a message to the farming community that the situation is now at a level which should cause everybody significant concern”.

Mr Carroll was found dead at the rear of a tractor on his farm by his brother Michael on the morning of March 16th last year.

Health and Safety Authority inspector Manus Tiernan said Mr Carroll was found behind the left rear wheel of the tractor. “There were no witnesses to the accident and it will never be fully known why he was outside the tractor.”

Replying to the coroner, Mr Tiernan said the evidence would suggest Mr Carroll had exited the tractor while it was running in a very low gear and he possibly slipped or lost his balance before being run over. He said a nearby gate was open when investigators arrived.

In accordance with the evidence, the jury recorded the cause of death as extensive thoracic and abdominal trauma secondary to a farm accident.