Monday, August 08, 2016


Click on any image for a larger version

What, I wondered, was that little green-framed box on the wall of my local bank?

Turned out to be an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) but I hadn't recognised this one at a distance.

Hang on a minute. There's something distinctly odd about this one.

Closer inspection revealed that there was no defibrillator. It had been STOLEN, on one dark evening in the middle of July.

Now who the hell would steal a defibrillator? Was it an act of pure vandalism? Or was it a planned theft with an outlet already set up for the stolen property?

You'd wonder who would have a use for it until you think of the many people around with heart conditions. Someone may not have wanted to spend the thousand odd euro on a machine but would settle for a bargain falling off the back of a lorry.

There are many CTV cameras in the complex but I don't know if any of them cover that particular spot. The naming of a precise time in the notice suggests that the thief was likely picked up at some stage of the operation and no doubt the Garda are keeping their eyes open around the place.

Nevertheless I suspect the chances of recovery are slim and the whole thing does pose difficult questions for the future.

The instore defibrillator is under lock and key. Not a problem, once the store is open there will be someone there to open it up. By their nature, the outside locations need to be directly available to the public. Limiting access to authorised first responders would severely limit their usefulness. So it is really a question of trust, and what is that worth in this modern world?

Just to emphasise the point. The above is a list of locations of defibrillators around Raheny. The bank one isn't listed so I guess it may have been very recent. It does seem to have a particular importance, though. It would be the only one accessible 24/7, and also the only one available when the other locations listed are closed.

I am reminded of the analogous position of lifebuoys along a river or canal. The vandal or prankster here has tweaked the sign to reverse its meaning. Dangerous enough you might say. But at least they didn't nick the buoy while they were at it.

The text here applies equally to both devices.

I am a little more sensitive to these matters since I started following up my family history and came across three drownings of close relatives.

My maternal grandfather drowned in the Liffey in 1918. His brother had already drowned in Ranikhet, India, in 1892 while serving with the British Army. And a paternal uncle drowned in the River Suck in Ballinasloe in 1922 in controversial circumstances linked to both gender and sectarian considerations.

Update 9/10/2016

The stolen defibrillator has now been replaced. I trust it is now under the scrutiny of one or more of the security cameras on the site.

No comments: