NI farmer killed by bull: Health and Safety Executive investigating

The man died in an incident at a farm on the Killycarn Road, near Broughshane, Co Antrim. Pic by Google
The man died in an incident at a farm on the Killycarn Road, near Broughshane, Co Antrim. Pic by Google

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is investigating the death of a man on a farm in Co Antrim.

The victim has been named locally as James Gibson of Killycarn Road, Aughafatten – a townland between Broughshane and Carnlough.

The air ambulance was called to the incident

The air ambulance was called to the incident

It’s understood Mr Gibson, 71, died after being struck by a bull yesterday morning.

The NI Ambulance Service and the air ambulance were tasked to the scene of the incident at around 8am, but no casualties were taken from the scene.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said: “HSENI are aware of an incident involving a farmer in the Ballymena area and are attending the scene.”

Braid councillor Alderman Robin Cherry MBE, himself a farmer, described the incident as “tragic”.

“This would be tragic for his family at any time of year, but particularly coming up to Christmas.

“My sympathies are with his family at this sad time,” the UUP man said.

DUP councillor Beth Clyde, who knows Mr Gibson’s family, said he had been working with animals his whole life.

“They are a really nice family and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, especially at this time of year.

“People in this community will be devastated by what’s happened and will be grieving for his family,” she told the News Letter.

DUP Assemblyman and farmer William Irwin, who was attacked by a bull in 1996, also expressed his sympathies to Mr Gibson’s family.

“This is an absolute tragedy for the Gibson family and especially so close to Christmas it really is a very sad and terrible incident,” he said.

“I would urge everyone to redouble efforts to ensure that risks are reduced on farms and every precaution is taken around bulls and other livestock.

“I recall when I was attacked by a bull and I can say it was a very frightening experience and only for the fast reactions of a friend who was with me at the time and hit the bull on the eye to distract it, the incident would have had a very different ending.

“Bulls by nature are unpredictable and there have been a series of bull attacks in recent times and indeed a number of fatalities. The level of fatalities on our farms continues to cause great concern and it is incumbent on all of us involved in farming to exercise the greatest of care.

“I wish to take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to the Gibson family as they try and come to terms with this terrible tragedy which has claimed yet another life on our farms.”