The annual Embrace Farm Week Remembrance Service was launched at Balmoral Show this morning on the Ulster Farmers Union/NFU Mutual Stand.

The launch was attended by farm organisations, the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI), Harper Adams Ireland and agribusiness leaders.

Brian and Norma Rohan, founders of Embrace Farm, thanked Barclay Bell and the Ulster Farmers Union, Martin Malone and NFU Mutual for hosting the launch on their stand.

He also thanked Keith Morrison, Chief Executive of the HSENI and Michael Reid, CEO of the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster for their support in launching this event at Balmoral Show.

Sinead McLaughlin, former Tyrone Ladies Football captain who lost her Dad, Cathal in a farm accident and Rory Best, the Embrace Farm Ulster Ambassador also attended the launch of this year’s Remembrance Service.

Embrace Farm was founded in 2014 to provide a bereavement support group for farm families who, like them, have lost a loved one or suffered serious injury in a farming accident.

Brian Rohan said that Embrace Farm holds an Ecumenical Remembrance service on the last Sunday of June each year to remember those lost and seriously injured on the farms of Ireland.

Our third annual service will be on Sunday June 26 this year in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Abbeyleix, Co Laois.

“In addition to this year’s service we are adding a family weekend for young children who have lost either their Dad or young sibling in a farm accident.

“The purpose of this weekend is to do something fun with the kids and bring families from similar situations together in an attempt to help them connect with each other and share their stories.

“Embrace Farm has no dedicated funding, we have been very fortunate to have benefitted from many fundraisers organised by kind supporters.

“This funding along with some very generous donations from Agribusiness is helping to finance the family weekend and Remembrance Service.”

Brian Rohan went on to say that they would be very grateful to the agriculture industry if you could help them out financially and through their marking departments to help get the word out about the remembrance service.

So far this year there have been four farmers killed in the Republic of Ireland and according to HSENI to date in 2016 there have been three farm fatalities in Northern Ireland.

Embrace Farm wants to help and support families with their service as a farm accident, whether fatal or causing serious trauma, can leave awful and lifelong consequences.

Norma Rohan said that even opening up and talking to people is a huge step for some, particularly men.

“We don’t underestimate the size of that step for people but we do know it’s worth it. There’s a lot to be gained from talking to people who know exactly what you’ve been through.

“You get real empathy and understanding and the toll on farm families from accidents has been so devastating that there’s an awful lot of trauma to deal with. ”

If you would like the name of your loved one remembered at this year’s service, please get in touch with Embrace Farm with their name by calling +353 (0)85-7709966 or emailing [email protected] or through Facebook.

Saturday June 25, 2016

10am: Registration at Maldron Hotel, 2km from Portlaoise at exit 17 of the M7/M8 Dublin – Cork/Limerick motorway.

10.45am: Bus leaves for Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny. Set in a stunning 80 acre woodland, this Park boasts an exciting range of recreational and educational activities.

These scenic walking trails, lakes, boating, high-ropes and low-ropes adventure activities, a fascinating multi media coal mining museum, orienteering trails, schools education programme, design craft workshops, Elf & Fairy village and an award winning café.

5.30pm: Adults one hour workshop – Information & Discussion on Dealing with Grief in our Families.
5.30pm: Children’s light entertainment e.g. movie for teens / disco for kiddies.

7pm: Dinner in hotel and chat.

Sunday June 26, 2016

Up to 10am: Breakfast.

10.30am – 11.30am: Children’s workshop. this will consist of creating a momento that will be included  in the Remembrance Service in Abbeyleix at 2pm which can be taken home.

2pm: Abbeyleix – Remembrance Service in Church of the Most Holy Rosary.