Stories of farm tragedies to be told at major conference in Laois

 Farm Safety

Survivors and witnesses to farm accidents get their first opportunity to share how their lives have been changed since their accident.

Embrace FARM hold the first farm accident survivors conference in the Midlands Park hotel Portlaoise the farming community in Ireland. 

Farm accident survivors get to share how they have adjusted to daily living in the months and years following their farm accident.

Organiser, Peter Gohery, a director with Embrace FARM, from East Galway who lost his leg in a PTO accident on his farm in 2009 said

“There are many deep rooted issues which deeply affect both the survivor of the accident and those that have witnessed it and dealt with the aftermath. 

"These include post-traumatic stress, rehabilitation and occupational therapy, who runs the farm, legal issues, insurance claims are among the many issues facing survivors and their families.” 

Telling their story will be survivors, Kerri Leonard from Co. Meath who was driven over by a tractor at the age of 6 and now competes with the Irish Para Olympics team,

Liam O’Keeffe from near the Cork /Kerry border who was attacked by a bull and William Sawyer from Northern Ireland who lost his arm in a PTO accident. 


Niamh O’Connell, Duhallows, Co Cork and Alison Leonard, Durrow Co Laois will both speak about their husband’s accidents and how family life has changed. 

Niamh’s husband Richard is now in a wheelchair and Alison’s husband Dominic lives with a brain injury.

Professional speakers on the day will talk about prosthetics and adapting machinery to allow you to continue to farm if that is your wish. 

Mental health trauma experts will talk about the unseen scars from your accident and the impact it has had to family life.  

Legal & Insurance experts will also speak about dealing with claims and succession on your business.

The day is an opportunity for survivors and witnesses to get information and support from others who find themselves in a similar situation to you. 

The organisers say it is also an opportunity to voice concerns and highlight what help is needed.

Embrace FARM (FARMING ACCIDENTS - REMEMBERED & MISSED) was founded by Brian Rohan and his wife Norma, a farming family from Shanahoe, Co. Laois, in 2014 to provide a bereavement support group for farm families who, like them, have lost a loved one or, indeed, suffered serious injury in a farming accident.

Brian's father Liam lost his life as a result of such an accident, which took place on the family farm on June 19th 2012.

Rather than just accept the fate that he and his family were bereaved, Brian, together with his wife Norma, founded Embrace FARM in Liam's memory.

The primary objective of Embrace Farm accident support network is to help bereaved families through regional support sessions and an annual remembrance service.

The day takes place on on Saturday, November 25. It begins with light refreshments at 11.30am. The event is free to attend.  Please register your attendance at or text 085-7709966. 

More at

For more information you can contact Peter Gohery at 087-4183620.

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.