Foróige course shows Co Galway youth importance of farm safety

The course participants pictured with their certificates. Photo: David Walsh

The course participants pictured with their certificates. Photo: David Walsh

Learning to operate and run farm machinery properly and safely is an important part of life for young people in rural areas, and last weekend saw Foróige provide just such skills to Gort youths.

Foróige hosted a Safe Tractor Driving Skills Course and Road Safety Training Day at Gort Mart last Saturday for Foróige members aged 14 to 16.

The idea for the course was originally proposed by Derek Quinn of the Garda Traffic Corps. The programme was developed by Farm Relief Services Training and Loughrea Traffic Corps and rolled out with the assistance of Foróige volunteers and staff.

The event saw 31 young people from eight Foróige clubs taking part on the day. It began with

Jim Dockery of Farm Relief Services Training giving a talk on farm safety. The young people were then divided into two groups, with one involved in a practical demonstration of the skills needed to drive a tractor safely. The other group discussed safety tips including items like hitching/unhitching a trailer and reversing a trailer.

The second group also received a Road Safety Presentation entitled It Won’t Happen to Me!, from members of the Loughrea Garda Traffic Corps. The groups then switched around in the afternoon. All participants received a certificate from Farm Relief Services.

The course proved highly successful, so much so that a similar course for another 30 young people will be held this Saturday in Athenry Mart.

“The training was a great success,” said Gerry Prior, Foróige regional youth officer for Galway. “I was delighted to see a mix of males and females from both rural and urban backgrounds. The feedback from the young people has been great and we all hope they will bring the important safety message they learned back to their peers and family.”

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