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Investigation launched after life-saving defibrillator 'smashed' on Limerick street

The medical device is worth in the region of €2,000, and had been made available on the public street following a local fundraising drive.

shutterstock_620214260 File Photo Source: Shutterstock/Moxumbic

GARDAÍ HAVE LAUNCHED an investigation after vandals smashed up a life-saving defibrillator in Limerick city centre.

Officers are studying CCTV footage after the front glass of the machine, which provides immediate first aid to heart-attack victims, was smashed and the device damaged as a result.

Members of the Limerick South City Residents Association raised thousands of euro in order to have the defibrillator fitted to the exterior of a pharmacy in the area, and since it was installed, it has provided life-support to a number of people waiting on ambulances at the junction of O’Connell Avenue and St Joseph’s Street.

But they have been left stunned after this week’s vandalism on the defibrillator, with local Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne condemning it as “a cowardly act”.

Smashed

Jerry O’Connell, who chairs the South City Residents Association, confirmed the glass of the front of the defibrillator was smashed, after the assailant was unable to gain access to it.

6 The defibrillator location on St Joseph's Street, Limerick Source: Google Maps

“We had a lock put on it, and local residents know the number in case anything happens. They [the attacker] were not able to get the defibrillator out, so they broke the glass,” he explained.

As a result of this, major damage has been done to the defibrillator, which is now being sent to engineers to see if it can be salvaged.

O’Connell said: “I have had open heart surgery myself, so I recognise the importance of this device. I am shocked someone could do this. If you look at it another way, whoever did this has a father and mother. If something happened to them, if they were local people, where would it leave them?”

Lifesaving equipment

Byrne, who lives a stone’s throw from where the defibrillator is located, added: “People go out and do stupid things, but to interfere with life-saving equipment is very sad, and somebody must have been in a very bad place to have to do this. These things don’t come cheap. It’s lifesaving equipment.”

“The defibrillator has gone away as we feel water may have gotten into it. We’re not sure until the report comes back whether it is working 100% or not,” she added.

As well as the defibrillator, the wing mirrors of a car parked on St Joseph’s Street were also smashed.

The residents association held a variety of fundraising events, including table quizzes and coffee mornings to pay for the defibrillator back in 2013.

It’s the only such device in the area which is located on a public street.

On average, the machines cost in the region of €2,000.

Gardai at Roxboro Road are investigating the vandalism, and can be contacted at 061 214340.

Read: Victim of Dundalk knife attack named as Japanese national Yosuke Sasaki (24)

Read: Man arrested after armed robbery involving iron bar at Dublin supermarket

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Limerick Leader

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