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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Within a split second, he threw me up into the air’ – bull attack survivor

Adrian Morris, a bull attack survivor, recently shared his near-death experience in a video on his popular IFarm WeFarm YouTube channel.

Morris, who previously featured on That’s Farming, completed his Green Cert at Ballyhaise Agricultural College and operates a 130-cow dairy farm in Cavan.

Up until 2008, the family ran a Friesian bull with cows and an Aberdeen-Angus bull with heifers. However, an incident involving a stockbull has prompted a switch to 100% AI breeding in recent years.

Near-fatal bull attack

Recounting his brush with death after being attacked by a bull, Morris explained how the incident unfolded:

“We had our cows here one Friday, and I remember it as if it was yesterday. Our heifers were over in the field and had repeated.”

“The bull was standing here, and the heifer was standing behind the gate. My father was with me as we were fencing that day. I said to myself: ‘we will just open the gate, let him [the bull] run into the heifers and the following day, he can go back and go home with the cows later that night’.”

“I opened the gate, and my father opened the other gate. The cows were all spread out down the field, and he was roaring to get into the heifer.”

“I walked over to him and around him; he was facing me. When I got behind him, I put my hand on him, and the two gates were open at this stage. I gave him a little pat on the back.”

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“He turned around, and as he did so, I moved around this way myself. He had never shown any signs of being cross. Within a split second, he hit me in the side of my leg, and he threw me up into the air, from here to that sheugh, which is about 30ft.”

Second encounter 

“I knew that he was coming after me. My father was standing at the gate shouting at the top of his voice, ‘run, run, run’. I rolled myself as hard as I could into the sheugh.”

“By the time I got into the sheugh, there was no electric fence, and it was a lot deeper than it is now. He came down into the sheugh after me. He hit me again and pinned my leg into the ground. My instinct was, pure adrenaline, to get out of there.”

“I managed to pull myself underneath the barbed wire, through bushes, and roll out onto the laneway. When I got out there, I was free from him, and he was roaring.”

“My father said, ‘there was no way you would have survived that attack if he landed you out in the field because he was going to kill you’.”

“It happened so quickly that my father did not come into the field because that is what he would have done. He would have got it too, and the two of us could have been killed in a split second because of a bad decision that we made.”

A killing machine 

“When I got out onto the laneway, I noticed that I could not stand up. I was in no pain, but I could not stand. It was not until about three or four minutes after the shock went out of me that I started to get pain.”

“I got on the quad, left my father here and raced home to see what shape I was in. He tore all the ligaments in my knee to my hip; I had pins and needles in my foot, and my ribs were red-raw but don’t even remember him touching me in the ribs.”

“I would not go to the hospital because I knew the cows had to be taken home that evening, and there was no way that bull was going to be with them. There was no way I was letting anyone else into a field to get the works. I came back myself; I made sure we got him out in all the pain I was.” added the bull attack survivor.

“We put him out with the tractor. He turned into a killing machine within a few hours. We put him into the shed, and he was gone off our farm the following morning. I have power back in my leg, but if anything touches my knee, I am crippled for a few days.”

“My father walked that bull into the yard the day before that happened with his hand on his back the whole way in. The following day that is what he did,” the bull attack survivor concluded.

Morris’ take-home message to fellow farmers is this: “Within a second, a bull can just turn, and when their temper goes, you would not overrun them”.

Are you a bull attack survivor? To share your story, email – [email protected] 

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