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Funding for communities groups throughout Clare has been sought for defibrillators and training from the Department of Health.

It comes off the back of a motion by Cllr John Crowe (FG) before a sitting of Clare County Council this week which asked that the Department cover the cost for the provision of a defibrillator and adjoining heater on walls for clubs and villages across the country, “it is a very small price to be looking for,” he said of his calculated €1700 bill per installation.

Running costs associated with defibrillators cause problems, the Sixmilebridge man outlined as he referenced the need to change batteries every two years which cost “€120 a piece”. “Heart disease is the biggest cause of death in this country,” he emphasised, “every second family in this country has heart problems going back generations”.

Christian Eriksen’s collapse during Denmark’s clash with Finland in the European Championships really highlighted the importance of defibrillators, Crowe added. He asked that the first Council meeting in-person be preceded by training for all elected members on how to use a defibrillator.

“This is a particular one that is close to my heart if you pardon the pun,” Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) remarked as he seconded the request. He noted that the presence of a defibrillator can be the “difference between life and death for a lot of people”.

A comprehensive list of all defibrillators available in Clare is urgently required, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) flagged. Putting together such a list was described as “a big piece of work but a very worthy piece of work” by Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG). “The GAA is a great example, there is almost a defibrillator at every club in the country, it will save lives,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) predicted.

Lives of all ages are saved by defibrillators, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) said, “if one life is saved because of a defibrillator in our county that would be a great thing”. Action on progressing the motion must be carried out, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) stressed with further support voiced by Cllr Mary Howard (FG).

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