Farm accident support group for mid-west counties
Bereavement support group Embrace FARM plan to extend its services to counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.

The voluntary bereavement support group has announced it is to establish a mid-west branch of the network for families affected by fatal and non-fatal accidents.

An information night will be held on Thursday 7 April in the Castleoaks Hotel, Castleconnell with a view to establishing a branch for the area. It will be the fifth branch of the support group nationwide and will meet regularly to provide support to families who have had to deal with tragic deaths and serious injury arising from farm incidents.

Hosting the information night is Tipperary native Angela Hogan, who will talk about her own experience having joined the first support group in the midlands two years ago to help her deal with the aftermath of the tragic death of her partner Brendan in 2011.

“Farm accidents can happen in the blink of an eye as I and many, many others unfortunately can testify. In a moment the lives of people are changed forever and afterwards you have no choice but to somehow try and soldier on.

“I found myself in such a position in 2011 when Brendan lost his life and it changed my and our two children’s lives forever. My and Brendan’s family and friends have been incredible support but I have really found the Embrace FARM support group meetings hugely helpful in helping me come to terms with it all.

“Talking to other people who have either suffered the same dreadful experience or been affected by non-fatal accidents really helps. There’s fantastic solidarity in such a network and it’s not alone the emotional support you get but practical support also.

“Our Information night is with a view to establishing a support group in the mid-west. Every single county in the country has been affected by farm accidents over recent years but I could not emphasise enough the value of sharing your stories with others,” she said.

Support

Embrace FARM was founded by Laois farmer Brian Rohan after his father Liam died following a farm accident in 2012. Starting off in Laois, it now provides bereavement support services in Galway, Cork and Mullingar for farm families who have, like Brian and Angela, lost a loved one or suffered serious injury in a farming accident.

“We have had a lot of requests across the country to establish new groups and this will be our fifth,” said founder Brian Rohan. “It makes a huge difference to people to be able to share their woes so we would really ask people who are affected to join us next week in Castleconnell for a chat and a cup of tea.”

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Two injured in under-age tractor driving incident
Police in Northern Ireland said two juveniles were injured in an incident with a tractor driven by a third one.

The PSNI's Cookstown unit said on its Facebook page that it joined two ambulances and paramedics at the scene in Coagh, Co Tyrone this Sunday.

"Two juveniles fell from a tractor being driven by a third juvenile," police said. "Both sustained injuries significant enough that they required transfer by ambulance to hospital. The tractor should not have been on the road and should not have been carrying passengers."

Officers have prepared a file for the Public Prosecution Service against the driver for "a range of offences," adding that the incident "could have been a lot worse".

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Repeat of forgotten farmers blunder may be avoided in new CAP
There may be a chance to support the so-called forgotten farmers who were excluded by the rules of young farmers' schemes in the past, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has indicated.

Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue asked Minister Creed this week "his views on whether young farmers who are under 40 years of age but that have been farming for more than five years and that are not permitted to access measures currently under Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, including being able to apply for the national reserve and for top-up entitlements will be eligible in the new CAP".

It appears that there will be some member state discretion in configuring the necessary supports

His question was connected to a proposed rule allowing each European country to define what is a young farmer after 2020.

Minister Creed said that while increased support for young farmers in the proposed structure for the next CAP applies to trained "young farmers who have newly set up a holding for the first time" or become head of the farm for the first time, "it appears that there will be some member state discretion in configuring the necessary supports".

This could avoid a repeat of the anomaly that has seen around 2,000 farmers miss out on current schemes.

Consultation

On these and other questions relating to the CAP after 2020, the minster said he would open a new public consultation next month now that the European Commission has published its initial proposal. "Ultimately the shape of the regulations will be determined by engagement with the Commission, member states the European Parliament, but I am anxious that Irish citizens have an opportunity to have their voices heard in the process," Minister Creed said.

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