Creed stresses the im­por­tance of safety

Irish Independent - Farming - - INTERVIEW -

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

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