Emotional pub staff who saved the life of one of their favourite elderly customers, only a month after learning CPR, have said they burst into tears on hearing of his recovery.
Staff at the Round O Pub in Navan, Co Meath have been praised as heroes after the 82-year-old suffered a heart attack at the bar on Sunday.
Employees cried openly when they received a call on Wednesday to be told the much-loved regular is now out of a coma and recovering well in hospital.
Bar manager Ross Penny said: "The bar was full of people having food last Sunday at 5pm when I spotted 'Jack' outside coming to the door. We hadn't seen him in a while so it was great to set eyes on him but I thought he looked clammy and was slurring his speech so I walked inside after him.
"He hopped up on a stool and was full of chat so I thought it must have been the heat affecting him. About 30 minutes later, I was on my break and received a call to say he had collapsed on the ground and didn't appear to be breathing. The man's colour had drained from his face and he was in cardiac arrest."
The team had only recently been given CPR training a month earlier after what Mr Penny described as a "scary incident".
"The chef Eddie Xavier started compressions straight away while Sarah McCabe prepared the defibrillator. On the first go, the colour came back into Jack's face and I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. We really thought he was gone.
"The customers were amazing, even though I'm sure it was upsetting for them. After the incident we were all so distraught that we closed.
"About a month ago, a lady almost choked on a piece of bread in the restaurant and gave us a bit of a fright so thankfully the owner Maria Kelly arranged for us to take a course in First Aid and CPR."
Ross said the staff made sure to locate Jack's dog and get him properly cared for.
"We all know Jack and we know his story so there was an even bigger connection there. When we did the CPR, it was extra emotional for us because it was him. We knew he had a little dog so started ringing all the relatives looking for a spare key to the house. We finally got the dog who is being looked after by a neighbour.
"All the staff worked as a team and it was so emotional that when we got the call on Wednesday to tell us he was out of a coma and sitting up in the bed looking for his phone, we all burst into tears."
"He has still a long road to recovery but our thoughts are with him and we are with him every step of the way"
Siblings Maria Kelly and Mark Keenan, owners of the Round O, have praised their staff as heroes.