By Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics: Donal Foley
GOOD health and take care could well be the message of a big hearted local group who are taking measures to protect the health of a city parish.
A residents’ committee in St John’s has been raising funds to purchase life-saving defibrillators which will be be strategically placed at focal points in the parish and will be available 24/7 in case of cardiac arreste.
The defib project in memory of local man, Billy Leahy who passed away recently, will see a collection of eight defibs, costing €2,000 each, available initially on the Castlecomer Road, Johnswell Road, Dublin Road and in the grounds of St John’s Church, beside the homes for the elderly.
Friday was a good one for the local community as it marked the ceremonial handing over a a defibrillator to Fr Frank Purcell PP. The machine which will be available to the public, was handed over by Margaret Lanigan, secretary of the Defib Group.
Money for the equipment was raised through donations from local businesses and individuals.
A defib is available at Nowlan Park and MacDonagh Junction also have their own machine. McCarthy’s Eurospar provide a defib at Newpark Shopping Centre.
O’Loughlin Gaels also have a difib outside their premises and it too is available to the entire local community 24/7.
Accepting the defib for the church grounds, Fr Purcell emphasised that it would be available to the entire community and he hoped it would never have to be used.
“Community is the key,” Frank Cody told The Reporter. “The defibs are available for everyone and while courses in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) are in the pipeline through the good offices of Anthony Byrne, a call to 999 at any time will direct people to their nearest machine in an emergency.
“People will be guided through the process by telephone as they may be battling to save the life of a loved one. However, the ideal is that we will have a team of first responders in the parish