10-Year Old Boy Dies in Farm Accident Near Castlewellan
Aaron Mccauley (10) died tragically in an accident near his farm on the Rathfriland Road area. He had been present near farm equipment on land that was on a slope. A tractor is thought to have been involved.
The boy who was in a critical condition was taken to Craigavon Hospital by helicopter after the accident on Tuesday 30 July at 2.30pm.
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland will now be playing a key role in the inquiry into the boy’s death. A HSENI spokesperson said: ” “HSENI is investigating the death of a 10-year old boy on a County Down farm. Our deepest sympathies are with the family at this most difficult time.”
Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said this morning after speaking on TV and radio about the tragedy that “I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of this young boy. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends at this difficult time.” She expressed her thoughts that farms are places of work primarily and added that they were wonderful places to grow up in for children.
South Down Assembly Member Seán Rogers (SDLP)has spoken out following the report of the child fatality in a farming accident outside Castlewellan.
Mr Rogers said: “I wish to express my deep condolences to the family of this young boy. Little is known of the circumstances at this early stage but my thoughts are with the family and wider community of Castlewellan at this terrible time. “
Also, South Down MLA John McCallister (NI21) has described yesterday’s farm accident as a “total tragedy” that has devastated a very close knit rural community.
He said: “The loss of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and my heart goes out to Aaron’s mum and dad Wendy and Maurice and the entire Macauley family.
“I have known both parents for some years now – indeed Maurice and I attended the same school. Wendy also comes from a farming background outside Newry and I extend my sympathy to the Agnew side of the family too.
“Aaron was a lovely child and a popular pupil at Drumadonnell Primary School. Tragically his P7 classmates will be missing a friend when they return after the break.
“Today’s news is simply heartbreaking and no words can really describe what this family is going through.”
Councillor Pol O’Gribin (Sinn Féin) also expressed his condolences and said: “The Macauley family are highly respected around the Dechomet area and this news has come as a terrible shock to the whole community. I want to express my condolences to the Macauley family, our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.
“The number of recent incidents on farmland have once again highlighted the high importance of farm safety, and we need to ensure that in the future farm safety is made a priority for a rural community such as South Down.”