Shock after farmer (71) gored by bull

A Derry farmer, aged in his seventies died tragically while working on his Killea farm on Sunday.

It is understood the man, named locally as Bernard (Benny) Foster, aged 71, was gored to death by a bull.

An investigation into the circumstances of the man’s death has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive, NI (HSE).

A spokesperson for the Irish Farmers Association said: “This incident brings home just how dangerous farm work can be. Farming is and always will be a dangerous profession.”

Former chairperson of the IFA Donegal, Keith Roulson, added: “This kind of work is always a risk. There is very little one can say except that our prayers and sympathies are with the family at this very difficult time.

“Benny was caught out doing a job he has probably done a thousand times previously and has paid the ultimate price for that. I knew him as a farmer and he was well known in the area and this shows the kind of man that he was; He lost his life trying to help his family on the farm.”

Mr. Roulson added: “Sometimes you take things for granted. While you can have all the safety forms you want, farmers must realise that they have to constantly re-evaluate the situation they are working in. These things happen every day during the course of running farms. Benny probably didn’t do much differently on Sunday than he did before. It is a tragic loss.”

Derry City Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mary Hamilton, who has been a personal friend of Mr. Foster’s for the last 40 plus years said: “We are distraught. I would like to extend my sympathies to Benny’s family. He was a very hands on type of guy and was very active in the community. Benny would not have missed a meeting of the Church, the Loyal Order or the Pipeband, he was a giver. He was such a popular guy, my phone hasn’t stoppped ringing with people asking; ‘Is it true?’

According to a spokesperson for the HSE,; “In the past decade over half of the 61 farm related deaths in Northern Ireland occurred amongst farmers aged 65 or over. The main causes of death were the handling of livestock, machinery and falling.”