Boy (14) dies after Carlow farm accident

Donal English Hayden understood to have been pinned down by overturned trailer

The HSA has investigators at the scene of a farming incident in Ballon, Co Carlow.

The HSA has investigators at the scene of a farming incident in Ballon, Co Carlow.


A 14-year-old boy named locally as Donal English Hayden has died and his 15-year-old brother was injured after a tractor drawing a trailer overturned on a farm in Co Carlow.

The teenagers were helping a neighbouring farmer in a sugar beet field when the incident happened near Ballon at about 10.30am.

The dead boy is understood to have been pinned under the trailer. He was rushed with his brother to St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, where he died later. He was due to return to secondary school on Thursday.

His brother was recovering in hospital.

Local parish priest Fr Brendan Howard said last night Donal was “a very talented young man” who came from a very respectable family who were involved in the GAA, athletics and “everything like that”.

“He had a great future ahead of him…as far as I recall he got a gold medal last year in the Community Games,” he said.

Fr Howard said the owners of the farm on which the fatal incident occurred were very health and safety conscious, but the farmer hit a dyke and his trailer overturned. “It was a freak accident.”

He said his heart went out to the dead boy’s family, who brought up their children in the best way. “You couldn’t get a more respectable family.”

The boy’s father Matthew ran in the last local elections in the South Carlow area. His mother Noeleen (née English), is a nurse in the Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow. The couple had seven children.

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority are investigating. Inspectors from the HSA visited the scene.