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Trish O Donnell, Secretary Ruan GAA accepting an AED from sponsor Councillor Joe Garrihy on behalf of Ruan GAA and the wider community. Photograph by John Kelly

New defibrillator the first step in planned rejuvenation of Ruan

A new defibrillator was installed in Ruan GAA pitch on Monday, as part of a local initiative to rejuvenate the area.
Francis Lyons, the Assistant Treasurer for the GAA club and a coach at underage level, explained that a lot of work has been done around the pitch to develop its facilities.
The prior defibrillator at the pitch was old and in need of repair and replacement batteries, and the work involved in bringing it back up to scratch was found to be cost ineffective by the club.
Francis took the responsibility of reaching out to the locality and to acquaintances in health and safety firms to learn what could be done instead.
“The defibrillator was a matter closer to my heart,” he said.
“I had a friend who had to be treated with a defibrillator in Ennis only a few months back, and only for it he would not be here now. So the importance of the defibrillator really did shine through.
“You read things in papers and you see things on social media, but I think personal experience makes you aware, more than anything.”
Francis credited Ennistymon Councillor Joe Garrihy as the financial backer of the defibrillator, “paying one hundred percent of the required funds”.
Francis said Garrihy was “delighted to help out,” and added that safety courses will be organised by the club in coming weeks for coaches and other personnel who may be on hand if the defibrillator is needed, in order to ensure that treatment is delivered efficiently and safely.
“We want people to know what they’re doing, to have experience before they need to use it,” Mr Lyons said.
Francis continued that he believes the idea of defibrillators being essential at the pitch side was highlighted appropriately several years ago, but like anything, the emphasis put on their importance dropped away when they went unused for seasons on end.
It was only at an executive club meeting that the topic was brought up again recently, leading to the investment on top of those already made to build the new stand at the pitch.
In order to reflect the importance that the defibrillator is used as soon as possible when needed, the unit has been installed within the new stand, so as to be close at hand amongst the crowd, from which Francis hopes a trained individual will never be too far away.
Francis said, “Like any organisation, we have slow-moving wheels that turn the bigger ones, but I think in this instance we moved very fast.
“We reached out to those with a better understanding, and it was a company in Wexford named Flashpoint that provided us the unit, which we hope will serve us for another ten years.
“It’s good quality, and is appropriate for both adults and kids.”
Francis has taken a large role in gathering a collective of like-minded individuals for the betterment of the community from all of its strongest institutions, such as the GAA teams, the Tidy Towns committee and local businesses. “Our little village has had a new lease of life,” Lyons said, “the movement has given a bit of a spark to the village.
“We’re trying to raise the profile of the village a small bit. I have councillors involved now, and we’re starting to raise funds and come up with projects for the next four to five years,” he said.

by Conor Clohessy

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