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In Pictures: Families remember those sadly lost to farm accidents at Embrace FARM service

The 8th annual Embrace FARM (Farm Accident Support Network) Ecumenical Remembrance Service took place in Abbeyleix on Sunday.

This is a farming organisation which was founded by Brian and Norma Rohan, a farming family from Shanahoe in 2014.

Brian and his wife Norma, with extended family, lost his father Liam Rohan to a sudden farm accident in 2013.

Liam Rohan, in his full and healthy life, was a popular and respected farmer & represented Ireland many times at World Ploughing Championships. Liam suffered a severe blow to his head while carrying out repair work on machinery and sadly died many days later.

Like most farming families the Rohan’s experienced great and invaluable support from neighbours and friends but were surprised to find that there was little or no emotional or practical support networks available to farm families suffering such loss.

So they established Embrace FARM which remembers those who have lost their lives, have been injured, supports survivors of farm accidents, their family members friends and the wider community.

Speaking at Sunday’s service, founder Brian spoke about a recent trip to Aras an Uachtarain.

He said: “Today we will remember all who have been affected by farm accidents in the 32 counties of our island.

“Farm families, extended family members, neighbours and friends who have lost a loved one and also those who have survived accidents. All of you are part of a story involving a long journey of loss, grief and trauma.

“Earlier this week Embrace FARM was kindly invited to Aras an Uachtarain by the President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina to be presented with a tree to acknowledge the work that Embrace FARM does.

“What an honour it was to ring the Peace Bell in remembrance of all the lives lost and injured on the farms of Ireland.

“Embrace FARM are delighted and grateful to be joined today by the Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Canon Patrick Harvey and Fr Paddy Byrne, who will lead today’s service with the help of our local resident musicians.

“We speak their names because they are a part of everything that we do, everything that we are.

“We speak their names because they are still, and always will be, a part of us.”

Embrace FARM records show that 15 Laois people have sadly died in farm accidents in the county since 1945:

Frances Corcoran (1945), Tom O’Loughlin (1959), Patrick Conroy (1961), Donal Fitzpatrick (1972), Jack Conroy (1973), Dan Delahunty (1976), Eugene Dunne (1981), Patrick Mahon (1988), Tom Walsh (1998), Donal Scully (2007), Kevin Molloy (2010), Liam Rohan (2013), Sophie Pearson (2013), Peter Wall (2015) and John Loughman (2016).

Photographer Alf Harvey captured some pictures from Sunday’s service below:

The Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Members of the Embrace Farm choir performing at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Norma, Julie, Emily and Liam Rohan light candles at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Liam and Emily Rohan light candles at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
The Embrace Farm choir at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Macra president John Keane; Martin Heydon TD Minister of State, Embrace founders Brian and Norma Rohan and Mairead Lavery guest speaker at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Canon Patrick Harvey, Bishop Denis Nulty and Fr Paddy Byrne with Embrace founders Brian and Norma Rohan at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
The Rohan family Brian, Norma, Julie, Emily and Liam at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.
Macra president John Keane is welcomed by Embrace Farm founders Norma and Brian Rohan at the Embrace Farm Annual Remembrance Service 2021 in the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.