Farmer dies on train home from Ploughing Championships

Tipperary man became seriously ill and lost consciousness near Limerick Junction

A man died on the train  on his way back from the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday evening. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

A man died on the train on his way back from the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday evening. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

A man died on the train on his way back from “a great day out” at the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday evening.

The farmer from Co Tipperary, who was in his 60s, became seriously ill on the train and lost consciousness shortly before the train was due to stop at Limerick Junction on Tuesday.

Iarnród Éireann staff on board the train alerted the station controllers at Limerick Junction to what had happened and called emergency services.

A member of staff attempted to revive the man using a defibrillator before the train arrived at the station, an Iarnród Éireann spokeswoman said.

“Unfortunately, the man died and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to his family,” she said.

Passenger Rory, a retired teacher from Kenmare in Co Kerry, who was in the seat opposite the man when he became ill, praised Iarnród Éireann and emergency services staff for their professionalism.

“One of the reasons I called in was to commend Iarnród Éireann staff on their professionalism and care for him and the dignity they showed him. They were absolutely marvellous,” he told The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio One.

“They did everything possible for him.”

He said he had stood up to put on a jumper and was “chit-chatting” to another man when the farmer became ill.

“The next thing [the man] began making funny noises and good God I couldn’t believe what I saw. I got up and there he was, he was dying,” he said.

“To look into his eyes and watch him take his last breath, it was just unreal. The speed at which it happened, him chatting one minute and few minutes later [he was] gone.”

Rory said he shouted out, “This man is dying”, and passengers and staff came to help.

“They sent people up and down the carriage looking for a doctor. We put him down on the floor and did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him but nothing was happening,” he said.

Limerick Junction

“People started saying the rosary in the background . . . When the train arrived at Limerick Junction, a member of Iarnród Éireann staff came and said, ‘I am trained’, and he took over and worked hard at [resuscitation]. He was marvellous.

“The emergency staff came along with the ambulance and worked hard on him but unfortunately nothing was happening.

“After some time the guards came in and the doctor came and pronounced him dead. It was absolutely shocking.”

Rory said he wanted to let the man’s family know he was not alone when he died and his death was as “peaceful as possible”.

“If his family are listening, I hope they know that he wasn’t alone, people around him were helping him in every way possible and those two ladies were continuously saying prayers in the background.

“They introduced a lovely air of calm so that his passage was as peaceful as possible,” he said.

“It happened in five blinks of the eye.”

“He had a great day obviously at the Ploughing Championships and was in good form and the next thing you know . . .”

The funeral of the man who died took place in Co Tipperary on Friday.