A number of farm accident support group meetings are being organised by Embrace FARM (Farm Accidents Remembered and Missed).

These support group meetings aim to facilitate discussion between families that have had a family member involved in a fatal or non-fatal farm accident.

The first of these meetings will take place in the Corralea Court Hotel, The Square, Tuam, Co. Galway at 8pm on Friday, November 25, for bereaved families in the Galway, Mayo and Roscommon area.

These meetings will deal with the emotional and practical issues that arise following a farm accident for the whole family, one of the founders of Embrace FARM, Norma Rohan, said.

This will not be a presentation on farm safety, these meetings are about supporting survivors of farm accidents and families that have been affected by farm accidents.

“These meetings are about bringing families together and getting them to share their experiences with one another,” she said.

Embrace FARM also hope these meetings will create a network of support across the country for families affected by farm accidents.

The meeting in Tuam, Co. Galway, will be facilitated by Peter Gohery, who is a member of the IFA and an accident survivor himself.

Gohery, from Eyrecourt, Co. Galway, is also a Health and Safety Consultant to the agriculture and construction sectors.

Families, survivors or witnesses of farm accidents are welcome to attend these meetings, regardless of whether they happened recently or a number of years ago, Gohery said.

Some people may have bottled up their emotions for eight or 10 years, or even 20 years, and only feel they are ready to speak now.

Meanwhile, support group meetings such as this will also help people who have witnessed a farm accident happening or who were the first on the scene following the accident, he said

These support meetings are informal and there will be personal accounts from people bereaved by a farm accident and survivor accounts.

A professional bereavement counsellor will also be available to discuss the impact of loss and trauma on bereaved families.

All participants will have the opportunity during these meetings to chat to others on a one-to-one basis, to connect with other bereaved families and to make new friends who can share their experiences, according to Embrace FARM.

The facilitator will let families know what services are available through other charity/support organisations, from the agriculture industry and farming organisations.

Embrace Farm hopes to establish from talking to families what advice and help they need most and also what the organisation can do in an advocacy role at industry and government level.

A number of other meetings are being organised for different parts of the country in the coming months.