The theft of a defibrillator in Clonmel has sparked outrage in the town.
The vital piece of lifesaving equipment was stolen from the clubhouse of local soccer club Clonmel Celtic in the past few weeks.
“It’s disgraceful, it’s as bad as taking a lifebuoy from a beach or the side of a river”, said Andrew Laste, a member of the Clonmel Heartsaver committee and Clonmel Celtic. He appealed to people to contact their local Garda station if they became aware of anyone trying to sell a defibrillator.
The Heartsafe Programme was launched in 2005 and has 15 defibrillators installed in and around Clonmel, although it’s understood that there could be between 60 to 70 defibrillators in the area. Over 4000 people in the town have been trained in the use of a defibrillator.
They are used to treat people who suffer a cardiac arrest. Each year 13,000 people in Ireland die from cardiac arrest.
The aim of the Heartsaver Committee is to have defibrillators available within 4 to 5 minutes of people anywhere in the town.
Andrew Laste said it was possible it could have been taken by a child who didn’t realise its importance, although it may also have been targeted for sale.
Local councillor Darren Ryan also hit out at those behind the theft, saying “it’s a new low, it’s flying in the face of a fatality”. He hoped that the families of those who took it would never need a defibrillator. Anyone with any information on the theft is asked to contact Clonmel Garda Station at 052-6122222.