independent

Monday 16 September 2019

Young widow fronts campaign for farm safety after death of her husband last year

Kevin and Diane Banville.
Kevin and Diane Banville.
Diane Banville.

The wife of a young farmer who was killed in a freak farm accident has appealed to farmers to slow down and work safely.

Diane Banville, whose husband Kevin died on the family farm in Newbawn, New Ross on March 17 last year is featured in a new video highlighting farm safety.

In the video Diane said her 'whole life was ripped apart' just ahead of the couple's first wedding anniversary.

Kevin was killed when a silage bale fell on him, just one month after Diane had given birth to the couple's second child.

One month later she had to christen baby Cillian, which was also their first wedding anniversary but also on the same weekend of Kevin's Months Mind Mass.

'Myself and Kevin, we would have hit it off from the start. And as someone said, just two weeks before the accident, we just had that same sense of humour. We just got each other. To me it just felt as if it was meant to be.

'I fell in love with Kevin mostly because of his honesty. Kevin told you exactly what he was thinking; he wore his heart on his sleeve.

'Anything you would have wanted to do, he would have done. Even days when he'd be down farming during the summer, he'd come up with a bunch of daffodils to me. I felt secure with Kevin. He was my rock.'

The couple were married on April 19, 2013 and Diane recalled how it was the happiest day of her life.

'I was happy because I was marrying the man of my dreams. I absolutely loved my life.

'My whole life was ripped apart on the one-year anniversary. I was sitting in the church lighting a candle.

On St Patrick's Day last year, everything changed for the young mother-of-two.

'We had planned on going in to see the parade. He kissed me goodbye, told me that he loved me and the next thing, it was 3pm and no sign of Kevin.

'I put the two boys into the car and drove down into the yard and found Kevin. On that day, life just completely changed.'

In the video which also features Kevin's brother Seamus, a number of his friends and Fr. Jim Furlong Diane appealed to farmers to be careful as they work.

'Nobody expects to be a widow at 35 years of age with two young kids. You should have your whole life ahead of you, instead of just threading water.'

'I would ask people to have a look, slow down.'

Four people were killed in workplace accidents in Wexford last year. The family farm continues to be the most dangerous workplace for the fifth consecutive year, with fatalities in the agricultural sector accounting for 30 deaths in 2014.

Wexford People

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