Most of those who died were over the age of 65

17 people lost their lives in farm related accidents in Ireland over the course of 2018.

Teagasc says this number is five less than the average for the previous 5 years. 

The overwhelming majority of those who died were over the age of 65.

53% of fatalities last year were associated with farm vehicles and machinery, while 29% arose due to incidents with livestock.

The remainder happened as a result of a fall from height, slurry drowning and timber cutting.

The Agriculture and Food Development Authority is calling on farmers to make safety a priority during January and the busy spring period in 2019.

It's also calling on farmers to be extra vigilant when slurry spreading season gets under way from January 13th.