The defibrillator was removed
GARDAI have launched an investigation after vandals smashed up a life-saving defibrillator in Limerick city centre.
Officers at Roxboro Road are studying CCTV 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 the O’Sullivan’s pharmacy in the area, and since its was installed, it has provided life-support to a number of people.
But residents have been left stunned after the overnight vandalism on the defibrillator, with local Senator Maria Byrne condemning it as “a cowardly act”.
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.
“We had a lock put on it, and local residents know the number in case anything happens. They were not able to get the defibrillator out, so they broke the glass,” he explained.
This meant the whole box needed to be replaced, and the defibrillator itself is being sent to engineers to see if it can be salvaged.
Mr 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?”
Ms 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.”
As well as vandalising 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, the only one 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, and can be contacted at 061-214340.