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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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Support after farm accidents and suspected suicide

Embrace FARM launches new Encircle programme

Embrace FARM, Ireland’s only support network for those bereaved by, or who have survived, farm accidents, has, this week, launched its new EIP-funded Encircle programme.

It will offer one-to-one support for individuals and families after a farm accident, suspected suicide, sudden trauma, or fatal illness.

The Encircle programme will offer support to farmers and farm families through a nationwide panel of professional mentors.

It encompasses the full spectrum of financial, agri, legal and emotional issues that individuals and families contend with in the aftermath of these sudden situations.

The Embrace FARM-led programme has been developed by a dedicated operational group and is supported by industry specialists including:

  • Agricultural Solicitors;
  • Agricultural Consultants Association;
  • IFAC;
  • Rural Support;
  • HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention.

According to HSA findings, over 200 farm-related deaths have occurred in Ireland over the last ten years. The safety watchdog recorded 113 serious accidents last year alone.

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Norma Rohan, general manager and co-founder of Embrace FARM, says that the charity has “carefully” selected its panel of mentors.

They aim to cater to the many complex issues facing families and individuals in the aftermath of a farm accident or suspected suicide.

She explained: “Once someone contacts us, we will work with them to figure out what they need, and in what order of priority.”

“From there, we will match them with the right professional mentors who can support them where they need help the most, whether it be legal, emotional, financial or general support with the overall operation of a farming business.”


Minister Martin Heydon, Kildare TD and Department of State added:

“As we continue to work on improving farm safety and reduce the number of serious and fatal incidents on Irish farms, it is equally important that families affected by sudden traumas are supported.”

“Embrace FARM has for many years played a crucial role for many Irish farm families in the aftermath of fatal or life-changing incidents.”

“This EIP, one of eight my department is funding in the area of farmer safety, health and wellbeing, will enable Embrace FARM to build on that work.”

“As we are all unfortunately too aware, a farm tragedy can present a range of potential issues for families. That is why I have no doubt the one-to-one tailored support will be invaluable to those who need it.”

Embrace FARM will continue to offer its peer-to-peer support services in conjunction with the Encircle Programme.

Its annual ecumenical Remembrance Service takes place in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, on Sunday, June 26th, 2022.

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