Anonymous defibrillator donor has a big heart

A large financial donation from an American visitor to Gort has helped to pay for one of two defibrillators recently installed in the town.

Money from the US benefactor, as well as from Gort Resource Centre, has funded a second defibrillator in the town.

The tourist, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated almost €2,500 to purchase the equipment.

“He was drinking a pint in O’Donnell’s pub in Gort and he saw a poster for the 50/50 draw being run by Gort Community Centre to raise funding for the equipment. He went to the centre and said he wanted to donate, anonymously, and they contacted me,” explained Brian Lynch of Gort Neighbourhood Watch, who worked to get defibrillators for the town.

“He said he wanted to give something back to Gort; he has no relations here or anything like that,” said Mr Lynch.

Paddy Power bookmakers in the Square offered the use of their shopfront to locate the life-saving equipment, which was installed by Aidan O’Grady Electrical.

The first defibrillator for the town – also costing around €2,500 – was installed outside Gort Credit Union’s shopfront. It was funded by 17th Galway-Gort Scout Group in conjunction with Gort Lions Club, Gort Credit Union and Medtronic. It was installed by Tommy Flanagan Electrical.

Some 12 members of Gort Neighbourhood Watch were trained up in how to use the machines and John Sullivan of Sullivan’s Hotel in the town provided the space for the training.

Just last week, it emerged that a first responders’ group is being set up in Gort, and they want to use the defibrillators – a great result, according to Brian Lynch, who thanked everyone involved.

“We are truly grateful, and without the financial contributions of all of those people and organisations this project wouldn’t have happened,” he said.