Four people who assisted the recovery of a man who was without a pulse for a half-hour after a cardiac incident were honoured at a community awards ceremony in West Cork at the weekend.
Father of three Paul Harrington, aged 47, survived after collapsing at a service station forecourt in Bandon last September.
A Cork Airport paramedic along with a woman trained in CPR happened to be at the scene and along with two local firemen using a defibrillator brought Mr Harrington, from Kilbrittain, back to life.
All four, Ciarán Walsh, Fiona Coffey, John O’Connell, and Ger Crean, shared the Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award at the 30th anniversary Opinion/Bandon Co-op West Cork Community Awards.
Eddie Goggin, editor of The Opinion, said:
“For 30 years, we have been saluting local heroes in the social, sporting, community and cultural life of West Cork.
The outstanding achievement award to the four individuals who performed the Lazarus-like miracle on Mr Harrington epitomises what this awards scheme is all about: unsung local heroes being honoured in their own community.
Mr Harrington had been a passenger in his brother Brian’s car and had stepped out to get ‘fresh air’ when he was spotted slumping over on the forecourt.
Fortunately, Mr Walsh, a trained paramedic who works with Cork Airport Fire and Rescue, was getting fuel when he noticed Paul’s plight.
He rushed over and was joined by Fiona Coffey, who had just completed training in CPR. They began to administer CPR.
Bandon Fire Service was also alerted and Mr O’Connell and Mr Crean administered between eight and ten shocks from the defibrillator to Mr Harrington. It had taken up to 25 minutes of assistance before a pulse was detected.
Mr Harrington was later admitted to Cork University Hospital where he received treatment for cardiac abatement.
Meanwhile, other award winners at the ceremony were Alice Taylor, for her outstanding contribution to Literature; Skibbereen woman Jennifer Dowler who set up a pioneering charity, Irish Dogs for the Disabled; octogenarian Seán Ó Sé, associated for more than 50 years with traditional Irish music received a Lifetime Achievement Award, and young Kinsale golfer John Murphy won the Sportstar of the Year.
A children’s charity shop in Bandon which donates to Sr Jesinta in India; the committee behind the Sam Maguire Bells project in Dunmanway; Spearline, Skibbereen’s up-and-coming global software company, and organisers of the West Cork Rally which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018, were also honoured along with individuals who received voluntary endeavour awards.