A defibrillator that has saved several lives in Mallow has been vandalised.
The protective casing of the defibrillator, which belongs to Mallow Search and Rescue, was smashed in on Saturday night.
The screen costs approximately €800 and the defibrillator is worth €2,000.
John Paul Merritt, from Mallow Search and Rescue, said: “I was out on call on Saturday night and was driving back to the base and saw the light was flashing on the defibrillator. It had been smashed to pieces.
“This is a defibrillator that has saved a couple of lives, probably three or four over the last few years.”
The defibrillator was donated to the rescue centre by Mallow Credit Union a number of years ago.
While the culprits have yet to be identified, Mr Merritt said that the road through the town had been busy after the Mallow versus Kanturk hurling match.
People living nearby saw several people around the area of the defibrillator between 9.30pm and 10pm last Saturday, at the time the act of vandalism is believed to have occurred.
A thick sheet of glass was smashed on the screen, so it is believed that the culprits may have cuts on their hands.
“If they’re going to do this to a defibrillator, can you imagine what they’ll do to a car or someone’s home? They need to be held accountable,” said Mr Merritt.
“For this to happen, it’s a bit soul-destroying considering the work we do. It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth.”
Mallow Search and Rescue is made up of a crew of about 30 people, including divers and those who operate boats, for the purposes of saving lives.
Mr Merritt said the response from the public has been excellent.
Local business EireMed and Caroline Coughlan of Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic have decided to cover the cost of replacing the defibrillator’s screen.
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