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HomeFarming NewsHow a quick-thinking ag contractor saved this farmer’s life
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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How a quick-thinking ag contractor saved this farmer’s life

The actions of one quick-thinking agricultural contractor proved to be lifesaving in recent weeks.

21-year-old Joe Hamilton was airlifted to hospital after he was attacked by a bull that he had owned for close to two years.

He told Nicola Weir, BBC Radio Ulster’s Farming Matters’ host, how the incident unfolded.


“I had a contractor in doing a bit of ploughing for me and he had just finished. He was taking his tea in another field next door beside a lane that I had to go across a field to get to him.”

“I went across the field and was talking to him. I was on my way back across the field and the bull was standing with the cows.”

“He was walking along behind me and I walked faster, but as I did so, he got faster. He pucked me from behind and flipped me onto the ground.”

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“When I landed on the ground, he got on top of me. He had just decided that today was the day.”

Hamilton sustained injuries in the form of broken bones, four ribs down his front and six ribs down his back.

“I thought that was it and then it was only for the contractor being a very levelled-head man, he drove the tractor to the gate and pushed the bull back, which allowed me to crawl down below the tractor.”

The young farmer climbed into the tractor cab and was taken to the yard by the agricultural contractor before he was airlifted to Royal Victoria Hospital by the Air Ambulance NI.

‘You always think it will never happen to me’

Reflecting on the incident, his message to his fellow farming counterparts is simple:

“If anyone is going to move cattle or work with bulls of any description, take a jeep or tractor or something that they cannot get at you because once they do, there is no getting away from them.”

“I was always wary of bulls and everybody warned me, everybody warns everybody in the farming community, but you always think it will never happen to me, but it did,” he added.

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