Importance of mental health and farm safety highlighted at Limerick event

Importance of mental health and farm safety highlighted at Limerick event

Garda Enda Moroney, centre, organised the event which took place at Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry | PICTURES: Brendan Gleeson

ONE of the first people on the scene at a farm accident is often the local garda.

Sadly, they too often give evidence at an inquest a few months later. To try and prevent tragic incidents occurring, Garda Enda Moroney recently organised a farm safety display and talk on mental health last for future and current farmers. It was well attended by TY students in the Newcastle West garda district and local farmers.

Held in Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Garda Moroney had lined up a superb array of speakers. Michael Murray and Emer Murphy, ESB; Peter Gohery, Embrace Farm; George Graham, Awareness Head to Toe; Pat Blackwell, Teagasc; Pat Griffin, Health and Safety Authority all shared their expertise.

Machinery from the agricultural college was used to give demonstrations on best practice. They included a tractor with bale gab with trailer and straw bales; tractor with a PTO attached to a baler; quads and a teleporter.

Limerick IFA, Alma Jordan and gardai all had stands. The gardai gave advice on how to apply for a driving license, the law around towing vehicles. Attendees were also shown how the alcometers work. PSV Inspector, Garda Brendan Condon brought a jeep and trailer and gave a demonstration and talk.

Every area of farm safety and mental health was touched upon. Afterwards, Garda Moroney stressed the underlying messages: “Safety is paramount in the workplace” and “take your time before you start a job to make sure your equipment is in order”.

Garda Moroney also echoed the sound advice of George Graham, who spoke on mental health, and stressed the importance of talking to someone and the different agencies available to help people in relation to mental health.

“The event was well received by the students from Salesian Secondary College; Desmond College and Salesian Agricultural College. A special thanks to Derek O’Donoghue, principal of Salesian Agricultural College, for the use of their grounds and equipment.

Also, a special mention to Peter Gohery who assisted in bringing all the speakers together,” said Garda Moroney, who thanked all who gave their time at the event; the attendees and sponsors - Kerry Agribusiness and Roche’s Feeds.

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