Embrace Farm hosted an accidents survivor conference in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise on Saturday just gone.
Proceedings kicked off just after 12pm, with over 100 people in attendance. On the day there were many accident survivors, spouse of survivors and others affected by farm accidents sharing their experiences.
Peter Gohery, one of the survivors, said “Everyone was very happy with it. One comment made to me was, that the safety conference in Ennis last week was all facts and figures, but our conference would make you sit up and think about safety or go home and think about the survivors”.
Peter was the man who opened the conference and introduced the first speaker, Damien O’Reilly. Damien started proceedings with a recount of his accident. Other speakers included Liam O’Keefe who was attacked by a bull, Gerry Leonard who was driven over by a tractor and paralyzed at six years old.
Following that was Northern Ireland’s William Sayer, a man who got his hand caught in a slurry tank PTO at only 12-years old.
“William gave graphic details of what happened, and it hit home how it affected him and his family. That’s what we wanted to show, that it is as much about the family as the survivors”, said Peter.
Alison Duck, wife of Dominic Leonard, who was attacked by a cow and received a brain injury, also told her story. She found her husband covered in blood, not knowing what happened when she rang 911. Her story gave a great insight into the suffering of family members, as she told of how Dominic was in a coma for 5 weeks, following the incident.
People from all agricultural organisations were in attendance on the day, including the Department of Agriculture, the IFA and many more. Peter hopes the Department will sit up and take note, while looking at ways to improving practices in the future.
Mental health was another topic touched upon, with Peter saying it is of the utmost importance. Overall the conference was a resounding success, marked 10 out of 10 by many attendees. Peter and the team will now look to improving on this latest conference, through comment cards handed out on the day.
Farm safety is vitally important, with this year seeing over 20 victims. Embrace Farm and this latest conference have gone a long way to proving that.