Gardaí launch investigation after three vandals destroy life-saving defibrillator
Gardaí have launched an investigation after three youths ripped a life-saving defibrillator off a wall and destroyed it.
The incident happened about 2.05am outside the 7 Eleven shop on Abbey Street in Arklow, Co Wicklow.
The device was only put up around five weeks ago according to Geraldine Nolan, who owns the shop where it was attached to the outside wall.
The video shows one young person open the casing where the device is stored, before another breaks off the casing and flings it into the street. They then appear to throw the bag holding the machine in the street before retrieving it and walking out of shot,.
“They even took a defibrillator from the bag and smashed it up down a back lane,” she told Independent.ie
The vandals proved they did not know the “importance of the device or how it can save people’s lives” Ms Nolan said.
"Defibrillators are there to save lives and it is absolutely disgraceful that this would happen."
The CCTV imagery captured by her shop’s security is being worked on at the moment and it is hoped that there will be clearer images for gardai to work with she said.
John Summers, co-ordinator of the Arklow Community First Responders showed the extent of the damage done to the machine, along with a statement on the group's Facebook page.
“I made my way down to assess the damage, hoping that it would be minor. On arriving I found the defibrillator and cabinet cover missing,” the statement reads.
“I called to the Garda station to see if they were there, Gardai had recovered the cabinet cover and the lid off the defibrillator. I feared the worst and my worst fears were realized after a look around the location, the defibrillator was found damaged beyond repair in a lane way nearby.
“I can’t accurately describe my feelings at finding it but it was a mixture of anger, disgust, sadness, nausea and probably a lot more emotions that I can’t find the words for right now. I just can’t comprehend how someone can destroy a piece of very expensive life- saving equipment paid for by the generosity of the local community.
“Gardai have informed me that they are following a definite line of inquiry. Hopefully someone will be held accountable for this mindless, senseless and savage attack.”
He said the group will "not be deterred" by such vandalism.
A garda spokesman said:
"Gardai in Arklow are investigating an incident of criminal damage in which a defibrillator was damaged. It happened at approximately 2am this morning. No arrests and the investigation is ongoing. Witnesses are asked to contact Arklow Garda Station."