Anna May McHugh is rightly called the Queen of the ploughing but that crown was a heavy one to wear on Tuesday evening. Its not often we see a Queen cry but the tragic death of Martin Kehoe Jnr brought a tear to the compassionate woman’s eyes as she spoke to members of the media at the first day of the ploughing.
Martin’s passing brings the number of farm deaths to 16 this year. It is a figure that will increase before the year is out. Martin’s death was preventable and Martin’s death changes things at the ploughing forever more too.
Each years celebration of all things rural will now be a time of pain, reflection and regret for one family. Its something that Anna May McHugh was all too aware of as she and her daughter Anna Marie spoke yesterday evening.
I have wrote and talked of farm safety before but it seems the issue refuses to go away or be resolved. Yesterday I spoke with Peter Gohery of Embrace farm at the ploughing championships Peter is a survivor of a farm accident, he is despite his horrific injury one of the lucky ones. Lucky you might ask? He is one of those people who are alive.
Farming continues to be the most dangerous profession in Ireland. The same problems keep cropping up, over worked men taking risks, working alone, thinking that what worked ten times before for them will be the same the 11th. We need a rethink on farm safety. We need a new strategy, a new vision. I’m getting emotionally tired of reporting and writing about this tragedy . We need to change farming, we need to change farm accidents. We need to save lives.