Saturday 25 May 2019

New defibrillator installed at Enniscorthy Garda Station

Paddy Redmond, Sgt. Colum Matthews, Michael Devereux, Insp. Gerry McGrath and Karen Tull
Paddy Redmond, Sgt. Colum Matthews, Michael Devereux, Insp. Gerry McGrath and Karen Tull

Pádraig Byrne

Enniscorthy Garda Station is the latest location to benefit from the installation of a new state of the are defibrillator in conjunction with the Ger Devereux Memorial Fund. The piece of equipment, worth €1,600, will be located in a heated box in the foyer at the garda station for use in case of an emergency. This will be the fourth defibrillator that has been placed around town in conjunction with the fund and gardaí personnel at the station are fully trained in its use.

Formerly of Milehouse, Enniscorthy, Ger served with the Irish Defence forces for many years before he passed away suddenly in September 2015 having suffered a heart attack. Now his family and friends have devoted themselves to raising funds and awareness in his memory and the fund has enjoyed great support and success locally.

'There's a lot going on locally with defibrillators,' said Paddy Redmond of the Red Cross. 'At the moment, we're training people on the use of the defibrillator in the Cathedral and we're also looking into installing one in The Presentation Centre. All of the defibrillators we install are state of the art and come in heated boxes with a code to access them. Those who are trained in its use have the code, or alternatively in an emergency situation, you can ring the garda station and they will provide you with the code.'

While these devices have the potential to save someone's life, one of the things which frustrates Paddy is that charitable organisations like the Red Cross are charged VAT when purchasing them. 'We've spent €9,000 on defibrillators,' Paddy said. '€3,000 goes on VAT then. That's money that could be used for two more defibrillators. I've written to our local TDs on the issue, as well as Minister Paschal Donohoe and they are looking into it. At the moment, a private company purchasing one of these devices can claim the VAT back, but a charitable organisation can't. It's madness.'

Enniscorthy Guardian