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community spirit

'Shocked and humbled': Community raises enough cash to replace defibrillator destroyed by vandals

The life-saving piece of equipment was wrecked by three youths earlier this week.

A CHARITY WHICH had one of its defibrillators destroyed by vandals in Arklow this week has been inundated with donations to help replace the device.

The Arklow Community First Responders said they were “overwhelmed” by the support they had received in the aftermath of the incident, which was caught on camera by a local shop’s CCTV system.

Since then, they have already received enough money to cover the cost of a new defibrillator. However, they are asking the public to keep donating what they can so the First Responders can install more defibrillators in the area.

A statement on behalf of the charity, released last night, read: “We would like to thank everybody for the overwhelming support that we have received over the past few days. It is a credit to the people of Arklow and really shows how a community can come together in support of a cause that they believe in.

“We would especially like to thank everyone who has donated financially to help replace the defibrillator; ASL Safety and Training, Travers Insurance, Declan O’Brien and Simon Enwright of Leinster school of motoring, D Byrne construction, Autodel Sales & recovery specialists and of course Billy and Geraldine from Arklow 711 shop and everyone who made an individual donation.”

Shop owner Geraldine Nolan, whose CCTV system captured the vandalism, said what she has seen in the past few days has been staggering.

She explained:

I put a tin on the counter of our small shop to help raise money to get a new defibrillator, thinking we could make a few euro to help out the first responders. But the kindness of the children, people, and business owners has left us shocked and humbled and the generosity keeps coming.

Nolan said he has been inundated with locals giving information on who they believe the perpetrators to be. Gardaí are now reviewing the CCTV evidence.

The shop owner explained that the tech experts who installed the CCTV managed to zoom and enhance pieces of the video footage. They have been able to get three clear pictures of the men’s faces.

Investigations are ongoing.

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