The people of Killashee have been left disgusted by the theft of a battery from one of their potential life-saving defibrillators.
George McDermott, Chairman of the Killashee Defibrillator group, said the theft had “knocked the group for six.”
A battery was removed from the defibrillator in Knappogue, Clondra three weeks ago, making the defibrillator redundant if anyone needed to use it.
“It’s like a life belt on the Shannon, if there’s no rope attached it’s useless. A defibrillator without its battery is the same,” Mr McDermott told the Leader.
Two years ago, the Killashee Defibrillator Group worked hard to raise the funds to purchase a number of defibrillators for the parish of Killashee and its townlands.
“The whole parish was brilliant then; everyone played their part and we got this life saving equipment into the parish.”
A new battery has since been ordered by the group. “It’s going to cost us €340 plus VAT to replace this battery and in the mean time if anything ever happened, the defibrillator there doesn’t work,” Mr McDermott added.
Gardai are currently investigating the theft and have asked anyone with any information to contact them. The Killashee Defibrillator Group are trying to ascertain if the batteries may have a scrap value.
Mr McDermott called on all other groups or parishes with a defibrillator in place to be extra aware of the security arrangements around the equipment. “Of course because of the nature of a defibrillator it can’t be kept under lock-and-key so it’s important community watch schemes and people out-and-about keep an eye open for anything suspicious.
“What really concerns me about this is the isolated spot from which the battery was stolen,” Mr McDermott mused. “It’s a long way from anywhere and it would take an ambulance a good few minutes to get out there, and a defibrillator could make all the difference.”