A KILDARE GAA club are urgently appealing for the safe return of a defibrillator that was stolen from their clubhouse during a break-in on Wednesday morning.
The Ballyteague GAA clubhouse was “ransacked” in between the hours of 1am and 2am on Wednesday morning. Several items were stolen, including the defibrillator that is in place on the premises for club and community use. The device is used to in emergency cardiac arrest situations.
Speaking to Shane Beatty on KFM’s Kildare Today show, Declan Jacob from Ballyteague GAA Club described the discovery of the theft. He said, “On Tuesday night, Wednesday morning we had a break-in to the premises and, as you can imagine, a lot of damages done to windows and doors; offices ransacked.”
“The most disturbing part,” he added, “is that we have a defibrillator that was donated to the club a number of years back, who donated it following tragic circumstances within their family. It is very disappointing and disturbing that it was taken.”
The defibrillator is also on-site, in case of emergency, for the elderly members of Allenwood Day Care Centre, who use the facilities three days a week. The Irish Heart Foundation estimates that sudden cardiac death occurs in 5,000 deaths in Ireland each year.
Ballyteague GAA also had a plasma television [donated by the Saint Vincent de Paul], several tracksuits and jerseys stolen, and ‘a few bob the old folks were saving up for a day-trip later in the year’. Jacob stated the thieves took whatever they could get their hands on. “In monetary terms that could be replaced but a defibrillator being taken has the potential to be a life or death situation,” he added.
Coincidentally, the club had held its first information meeting for a new community text alert service only hours before the break-in.
Jacob has urged anyone with information on the robbery, or whereabouts of the defibrillator, to contact Naas Garda Station at (045) 884 300.