Co Armagh farmer dies after slurry incident

The farmer was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where he later died
The farmer was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where he later died

A man from Co Armagh, Northern Ireland has died in hospital following a farming accident which happened over a week earlier.

Seamus Conroy, a well-known farmer from Keady, died on Wednesday (6 October) following the tragedy, which is understood to have involved mixing slurry.

The incident occurred in the rural Tassagh Road area, just outside the village on 25 September.

A spokesperson for the NI Ambulance Service said: “The service received a 999 call at 3.02pm on 25 September following reports of an incident in the Tassagh Road area of Keady.

“NIAS despatched one Emergency crew and one HART Officer and one Rapid Response Paramedic to the scene.

"The charity air ambulance with HEMs crew on board was also tasked to the incident," the service added.

"Following assessment and initial treatment, one patient was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.”

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has this week issued farmers in the province some safety guidance when mixing slurry.

“Slurry gas is a mixture of gases, including the extremely poisonous gas, hydrogen sulphide," the safety watchdog said.

"Even a low concentration of hydrogen sulphide, can knock out your sense of smell, so you won’t even know it’s there."

It added: “At higher concentrations, you will rapidly find it harder to breathe and become confused – and at certain concentrations, just one breath can kill.

“Mixing slurry can be a dangerous job as the gas is released very quickly and in large quantities as soon as the mixing starts.”

It follows figures which show a total of 41 people in Britain were killed in agriculture during the past year, including two children and seven members of the public.

Almost twice as many people were killed on farms in England, Wales and Scotland compared to the previous year, the HSE said.

The picture is similar in Northern Ireland where farming accounted for 5 of the 13 workplace fatalities in 2020/2021.