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Aran tourists look to contact locals who helped with medical drama

A family gathering on the Aran Islands could have ended in tragedy when one of the visitors suffered a heart attack while walking on Inis Móir – were it not for the intervention of a Good Samaritan.

But in the midst of the high drama, the Keatinge family from Dublin never learned the name of the passing jogger who helped save Tim Keatinge’s life.

So they have gone public with an appeal to find him – as well as his father-in-law who drove them to the doctor, and the doctor himself who personally drove them to the airstrip so Tim could be transported for treatment at UHG.

His brother Terry, a Dubliner for many years domiciled in Scotland, explained the background to the drama.

“We had a short visit to the Aran Islands a couple of weeks ago, and one morning, while walking west along the road to Kilronan, my brother – not in the first flush of youth – became a bit dizzy and felt a tightness in his chest.

“While he was resting sitting on the wall a passing jogger stopped to ask if he was okay. Of course the brother replied that he was fine. The jogger ran on up the road.

“But on his return run he stopped, had a look at the brother, and told him very firmly that he should get medical help as soon as possible.

“We set off towards an ambulance parked further along the road. However, in no time at all a car pulled up. This was the father-in-law of the jogger who had been asked by his son-law to pick up the brother and his wife and take them to the island medical centre.

“Carrying on with the positive action, the doctor arranged for a helicopter and took them to the airstrip himself,” added Terry, who lives between Inverness and John o’Groats.

There was ultimately a happy outcome in that Tim Keatinge got the attention he needed in University Hospital Galway and is back home safe and well in Dublin.

However, Terry wanted to make it known that the family felt what he called ‘an immense sense of gratitude’ to all who played a part in this – but to their collective regret, in the high drama, they forgot to do that.

And they don’t know their names to do it now.

“So to the jogger, his father-in-law, the GP, air crew and staff in Galway we would like to say a heart-felt thanks,” said Terry.

“Great kindness was also shown by others – our landlady at the Tigh Fitz B&B and the staff at the Aran Bike Hire who, without being asked, refunded our cancellations.

“We are left with a very high impression or the islanders as a whole,” he added.

■ If you know of any of those modest heroes, you can email the Connacht Tribune at and we will pass on the information to the Keatinge family directly.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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