Son’s slurry warning as 10 years pass since tragedy struck farm

A County Derry/Londonderry farmer is urging people to be cautious when working with slurry as the 10th anniversary of his father’s death approaches.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 2:28 pm

This Sunday will mark 10 years since tragedy struck on the Hyndman family farm near Maghera, claiming the life of Glenny - a well-known man whose son, Ivor, described as “big and strong”.

Now, Ivor wants to raise awareness of the dangers associated with slurry and the “devastation” caused to families when a tragedy like this occurs.

Speaking to this newspaper, Ivor said it is “hard to believe” that a decade has passed since the heartbreaking event and admitted it was something they never expected to happen to them.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He explained: “On 14 November 2011, I was working with my dad on the farm.

“We were mixing slurry in the underground tanks in preparation for pumping into our slurry store.

“The mixing process had just begun, so we exited the cattle shed to allow the dangerous gases to rise and escape.

“We had carried out this operation many times, over many years, and were very aware of the dangers surrounding slurry.”

Ivor barred the gate into the cattle shed and told his dad that he had a message to do and that he would be back soon.

“I reminded him not to go into the shed until I returned, and to allow the mixer to do its job,” he continued.

“As I was driving off, I shouted out to him, ‘stay out of that house, remember the gases’.

“He gave me a big thumbs up and a big smile as I drove off.”

Sadly, that was the last time Ivor would see his father alive.

“When I returned a short time later, I couldn’t find him,” Ivor stated.

“After a frantic search of the farm, and a couple of phonecalls to neighbours, I found his cap floating in the slurry tank.”

Emergency services arrived on the scene where they recovered Glenny from the tank.

It was a difficult and dangerous operation by the local fire and rescue service team, to whom the Hyndman family are deeply indebted.

Ivor continued: “I was absolutely devastated.

“I couldn’t believe that this had happened to us.

“It is something that you hear about on the news, but never expect it to happen to you.

“I would like this to serve as a reminder to farmers of the dangers while working with slurry and the devastation it causes to a family when a tragedy like this occurs,” he ended.

If you need more information on working safely with slurry, please visit the HSENI website for advice at www.hseni.gov.uk