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Ballyneety Defibrillator proves “it takes a village to save a life”



Ballyneety Defibrillator Launch pictured above – the Ballyneety Community Development Association and DKR Association joined forces with the shared objective of sourcing a defibrillator for the village and its wider community. Picture: Keith Wiseman 

The defibrillator aims to make the village a better, safer place to live and work

Brid Lang, Ann Rowsome, Naomi Cleary Graham and John Keane.  Picture: Keith Wiseman

It has been said, “it takes a village to save a life”, so with that thought in mind the Ballyneety Community Development Association and DKR Association joined forces with the shared objective of sourcing a defibrillator for the village and its wider community. A defibrillator (AED) is a potential lifesaving device which delivers an electric shock to the heart of someone in cardiac arrest.  It is easy to use and with CPR can save a life.

About 50 people in Ireland have a sudden cardiac arrest, every week 1 in 10 survive, those who do had early CPR and defibrillation. It was observed that although there are defibrillators in our community, none were available 24 hrs a day, only during working hours.


Ann Rowsome, a member of the Ballyneety Defibrillator Project Team said, “The Ballyneety Project team with initial support from Cllr Sarah Kiely, Annacotty and Carrigaline First Responder Groups, Limerick County Council and Heart of Ireland in Killarney set about sourcing a suitable defibrillator and housing unit. Our objectives were to ensure public visibility and awareness of the location of the AED, also the provision of CPR and AED training to our community.”

Armed with great advice from Hayes First Aid Supplies in Newcastle West we decided on a dual switch defibrillator for adult /paediatric use and a heated cabinet for protection. The team wanted the defibrillator to be visible to any passer-by in the village, so Thomas Hassett of Custom Concrete Studio in Abbeyfeale who builds replica vintage P&T phone boxes gave us great advice.”

This vintage phone box would not only protect the defibrillator from the elements, but more importantly would be a highly visible landmark in the event of an emergency. The box is an important part of their heritage, playing a huge role in our communities years ago by providing the lifeline that kept families together. Now it can do it again by housing lifesaving AED equipment.

The task of fundraising for these items was made easier by the amazing support from local businesses and the community. The AED and phone box funding were secured by a combination of donations from 3 main sponsors. 

The AED in Ballyneety Village is available 24 hrs a day to the community. It is housed in the vintage phone box, illuminated at night with access via keypad. The 4-pin code is written on the door of the box for easy access. It is also linked with the National Ambulance Service, so when someone dials 999 in the event of an emergency the operator will alert you to the location of the nearest defibrillator if required. The phone box is monitored with CCTV cameras 24 hrs a day. It arrived in the village to great excitement from local residents, bringing back many fond memories for some.

Ann added, “Our sincere thanks to St Ailbes Credit Union, John Godfrey and family of Bioscience Nutrition Ireland, Ann and Brian Murphy of Creative Gardens for their immediate support. We set up an idonate page to raise funds for ongoing maintenance of the equipment and to be in a position to provide valuable training in CPR and AED use to the community. The response from businesses and the wider community was amazing, surpassing our target figure in three days. Without their support this project would not be delivered.”

Finally, we are so fortunate to have a wonderful community spirit in Ballyneety, all working together to make the village a better, safer place to live and work. While we hope it will never be needed, there is peace of mind knowing in the event of an emergency the defibrillator is easily accessible to all. Through the provision of ongoing CPR and AED education, plus access to the defibrillator we can create a village of lifesavers.”

Subsidised CPR & AED training will take place on Saturday, November 19 and is available to every member of the Ballyneety Community. Please email [email protected] to register. The location will be decided based on numbers.

Please contact Ann Rowsome, member of the Ballyneety Defibrillator Project Team on 087 2965153 for more information.

To donate to the Ballyneety Defibrillator project, go HERE

For more stories on Ballyneety, go HERE 

Brian Murphy, Creative Gardens, Aisling Ryan and John O’Connor, St Ailbe,s Credit Union cut the ribbon with John and Fiona Godfrey and the family of Bioscience Nutrition Ireland. Picture: Keith Wiseman

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.