Disgraceful

Mindless vandalism of defibrillator in Cloone

Legislation needed to jail those who tamper with a life-saving device

Observer Staff

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Mindless vandalism of defibrillator in Cloone

The damaged defibrillator in Cloone

Cloone defibrillator group posted a message on facebook to notify everyone that the defibrillator cabinet on the Adoon road in Cloone (at P. Bohan's shed) was vandalised and as a result the AED has been removed until it is replaced.

This happened on Sunday night/Monday morning. Gardai have been informed and they are appealing to anyone with any information to please contact Carrick-on-Shannon gardai or indeed any member of the Cloone defibrillator group.

"This is very saddening and regrettable as these AEDs are there for the benefit of the local community and save lives in life threatening emergency situations.

"In monetary terms the cost of repair is in or around €400 which as a committee we currently do not have. We will keep people posted on any and all progress," the group said.

The nearest available working defibrillator is the one at Cloone Community Centre.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Senator Dr. Keith Swanick said the damage to the defibrillator cabinet in Cloone illustrates the need for legislation to be enacted immediately to tackle the issue of mindless vandalism of vital pieces of life saving equipment.

The Life Saving Equipment Bill 2017 was recently published which, if passed, could jail and or impose a huge fine on those convicted of tampering with a life saving device such as a defibrillator or a lifebuoy.

According to Senator Swanick, "This is a disgraceful thing to happen especially when you consider that these devices are put in place to help people who are critically ill. Well done to the Cloone Defib Group for highlighting this destruction.

"People need to know the consequence of their actions in relation to damaging life saving equipment such as this. To tackle this issue I drafted a new piece of legislation called the Life Saving Equipment Bill 2017 which could jail and or impose a huge fine on those convicted of tampering with a life saving device such as a defibrillator or lifebuoy.

"I have been working with politicians from all Parties and Independents to get cross party support for the legislation because something needs to be done to act as a serious deterrent to the thugs who routinely damage or steal life saving equipment all over Ireland.

"To put pressure on the Government I have also created an online public petition to support the Live Saving Equipment Bill."

The petition has almost 13,000 signatures and can be signed at:
https://www.change.org/p/oireachtas-support-the-life-saving-equipment-bill-2017