Creed stresses the importance of safety
the achievements they were making. “We were surrounded by people at the awards and in the Sunday morning I walked up the farm to an empty yard. I actually cried due to being totally overwhelmed.
“It took me a few days to get my head around it. I try to surround myself with people, discussion groups and I love having Paula work beside me every day. I try to help people as best I can, simply because I understand what it feels like to be at the lowest point and I like to see people get on well in life.”
It’s only in the last few weeks that Peter started to tell his own story to others, as until then no-one but Paula knew. “I found it tough but found relief by sharing my story. It’s hard to know what way people will take it and what they will think of me.
“I’m glad I did, as I’ve since met people who are having a tough time and they’ve reached out to me. Depression has such a simple cure for many, just finding someone good to talk to can help.
“Problems that seem huge nearly always have an easy answer. I know if farmers are having problems Teagasc are always there to support and the banks are willing to discuss issues. I’d recommend that every farmer join a discussion group.
“We all need to look out for each other.” THE most important message of the day was the need to ensure safety comes first on the farm, said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed during the Agrikids talk at the event.
“If anything was to happen to any of them in terms of our failure to address issues on our own farms, could we ever forgive ourselves?” asked Mr Creed.
He stressed the farming community needs to move away from the mindset that it is something that happens to someone else rather than themselves.
“You are multiple times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident or a serious accident on a farm than in any other workplace,” he said.
“That is something each of us in the Department, Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and at individual farmgate level have to address ourselves.”
Figures from the HSA show that 14 people have lost their lives so far this year on farms.
With three young children on the Hynes farm, Peter said the key to bringing on farm safety was to educate the young people. Mr Creed pointed out that ‘neighbourliness’ was a strong factor in the farming community.
“There is an obligation for each of us to look at the neighbouring farm and maybe have a word in the ear of the neighbouring farmer. We tend to become blind to the things that are a risk on our own farm as we navigate them every day,” he said. He warned to beware of more powerful machinery on Irish farms. “If you look at the tractors on farms now, they are so much bigger and the lines of sight are more challenging,” he said. “I think it is something that all of us have to be more aware of.”
Rugby stars John Hayes and Isaac Boss with Becky Hynes and her friend Alice Buckley, and (inset below) Peter Hynes shows Minister Michael Creed and Adrienne McCleery, Out Reach Nurse with Breast Cancer Ireland, around his farm
Alma Jordan with Georgina Hynes at the safety talk