News: Remembered & Missed. Hundreds set to commemorate those lost to farming accidents

12/06/2015 Brian Rohan pictured with his wife Norma and Brid Corkerey at the launch of Embrace Farm. Pic: Don Moloney

Brian Rohan pictured with his wife Norma and Brid Corkerey at the launch of Embrace Farm.
Pic: Don Moloney

People of all ages who lost their lives in Ireland’s most dangerous working environment will be commemorated on June 28th next in a special Embrace FARM Remembrance Service.  The Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Abbeyleix will hold the service which takes place at 2pm.  Deepest respects will be paid to the large amount of people throughout the country who tragically lost their lives to farming accidents.

This year marks the second annual Remembrance Service organised by Embrace FARM –an organisation which was established to honour the memory of those who died and suffered serious injuries in farming accidents and to also support their loved ones.

The service is expected to draw almost 800 people connected to victims of tragic accidents from across the country.

Among those attending the service will be Simon Coveney Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, renowned rugby player and farmer John Hayes, current Irish rugby international Sean O Brien along with other industry representatives and clergy.

The event itself is led by Embrace FARM founders Brian Rohan and his wife Norma a farming family from Shanahoe co. Laois.  The pair launched the voluntary organisation last year in memory of Brian’s late father Liam, who was killed following an accident on the family farm in 2012.

The service itself acts as a place of comfort for those who have lost their loved ones, an opportunity to get their stories off their chest.  Mr Rohan said, “People get to discuss their own particular experience and last year so many got great comfort from just getting to talk to others who have experienced their pain.”

This year’s event comes after a traumatic year in 2014 for fatal faming accidents.  During the year some 30 people lost their lives to farm accidents, an 87% increase in comparison to 2013.

Announcing this year’s Remembrance Service with Embrace FARM alongside supporter Cork dual star Briege Corkery, Mr Rohan said, “When we were here last year we were hoping that we would see a major fall off in farm accidents but unfortunately the death toll continues.  It’s a terrible emotional impact as well as a practical one”.

12/06/2015 Brian Rohan pictured with Brid Corkerey at the launch of Embrace Farm. Pic: Don Moloney

Brian Rohan pictured with Brid Corkerey at the launch of Embrace Farm.
Pic: Don Moloney

The toll itself triggered a major safety awareness campaign from Embrace FARM, with their viral video campaign ‘What’s left behind’.  However, the death toll continues with 7 people having lost their lives so far this year in farm accidents.

The whole aim behind the service was to develop the event into an annual remembrance at Provincial level and to develop various support structures to help families to come to terms with the irreplaceable loss of their loved ones.

For Mr. Rohan the service is an opportunity for people to come together, especially those who have dealt with the same experience, “We founded the organisation principally to provide support to families, like ours, who find themselves trying to deal with the death of a loved one on a family farm.  The Remembrance Service is the biggest opportunity of the year for us to do that as it enables people who have that tragic common experience to come together and share their sense of loss and indeed memory of their loved ones.”

Also speaking at the launch, Briege Corkery, who milks 500 cows twice daily with her boyfriend Diarmuid, said, “When you hear of an accident or much worse a fatality on a farm, it does stop you in your tracks.  It is a dangerous working environment and we all need to be so careful because of that.  So many Irish families have paid a terrible toll due to farm accidents and the Remembrance Service is an opportunity for them to come together and have the support of each other as they think of their loved ones.  Embrace FARM deserves huge credit for what they have done and I am delighted to support them.”

A part of this service will be the reading out of names of the people who have died in farm accidents.  The organisers have asked those who want their loved one’s names read out to contact them on (085) 7709966 or send them an email at or visit

In order to improve Farm Safety and create awareness FRS will be holding Farm safety displays at The Athlone Agri show Sunday June 28 and Charleville agricultural show June 28.

For more information on the farm safety displays visit:





More farmers set to up skill their milking practices this coming July

Father and son at best practice in milking course

FRS (Farm Relief Services) launched the “Best Practice in Milking” course in conjunction with Teagasc and AHI (Animal Health Ireland) in July of last year. The course itself proved to be a complete success. Almost four hundred farmers have upskilled their milking practices through the course and are currently in the process of receiving their highly commendable FETAC/QQI level 6 certifications.
Participants had positive feedback to give about the course. From beginners to the utmost experienced, each participant had something great to say about the course and the way in which it was taught. Some even admitted that milking all your life does not necessarily mean you know everything about it, “I have been milking all my life, didn’t think there was anything I didn’t know! But I was wrong AGAIN”.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD, officially launched the milking course last year on behalf of FRS, Teagasc and AHI.
At the launch Minister Coveney said; “By improving standards and improving current farming practices through this milking course will help take the industry to the next level and to where we need to be in order to provide the best practice efficiently and compete on wider international stage. The department is backing this course through its funding and encourages farmers to upskill their current practices and new entrants to put the best foot forward and complete the course”.

Best Practice in Milking practical group 14 july Gurteen
The course is suited to all level of expertise. Some of the previous participants felt that the course should be compulsory for those new to dairy. “Excellent course. Should be made compulsory for new entrants”.

Every area of the milking routine is covered throughout the duration of the course including; Preparation for milking, Machine parts/components, Milk quality (SCC&TBC), Mastitis prevention, Washing routines, Animal diseases, Health and safety and many other essential aspects to ensure an efficient dairy system is in place.
Undoubtedly, the course itself is extremely unique as it brings together the theory parts of milking and also the practical implementation of the theory. A customised DVD aids the delivery of the course and acts as a reference guide in the future. All course tutors and directors have been specifically trained and course content approved by the experts in the area of milking.
Past participants were enthusiastic and highly recommended farmers to do the course, “I would recommend to all farmers because you would learn so much and “All farmers should do it, excellent course”.
Plans are currently underway for the next tranche of milking courses, which are due to commence this coming July 2015 and will be running throughout the country. The course is open to all levels of milking experience from new entrants and people interested in relief milking to experienced dairy farmers.
Currently the cost of the course is €250, reduced from €500 due to a €250 department subsidy. With the success of last year’s course FRS, Teagasc and AHI hopes that this year will be as successful.

milking routine
Peter Byrne, CEO FRS Network says; “FRS have been providing milking training to FRS relief milkers and farmers for 35 years, but we wanted to standardise the course to improve the consistency of its delivery and also give certification of achievement to participants that recognises the hard work they have put in and the learning value that they have received. We are delighted with the response so far and will continue to progress with the confidence that the milking course is delivering what it set it do.”
For more information on the course or if you wish to book a spot for July:
Visit, alternatively call 1890 20 10 00 or Kevin Fitzpatrick at 086 0280450. Drop us an email at
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