Athea Tidy Towns Defibrillator Telephone Box Launch

Henry Moran Treasure of the Athea Tidy Town Committee MC for the unveiling.
Eamonn Walsh Heart of Athea. Athea Launching and AED in a phone box

A large crowd came to Athea on Sunday last for the launch of our defibrillator telephone box. As a first for Athea, the event was broadcast live on Facebook which allowed people from all over the world to tune in. Henry Moran opened the ceremonies, he welcomed everyone to the special ceremony, gave a brief and entertaining run down on the history of the project and how it became a reality.
The idea originally came from Michelle Curry who approached the committee with an idea for a project. We then got in touch with a committee in Killarney called ‘The Heart of Killarney’ who had recently carried out a similar project. This group then put us in touch with a company in Dublin who were manufacturing telephone boxes from timber.
We put the word out in the local press and on Facebook to get some feedback on the project and then received a message from Tommy Hassett from Dirreen willing to chance making a telephone box from concrete. This was music to our ears, as a concrete structure would stand the test of time and it also gave us an opportunity to support a local enterprise.
We then contacted the Athea Community First Responders and were delighted when they came on board and agreed to house one of their defibrillators in this unit.
This project would not have been possible without the invaluable support and co-operation of the local community in Athea who are always behind us one hundred present.
Words of thanks were expressed to Griffin Meats for allowing us to place the box at this location, to Billy White for allowing us the use of the gable of his house for cables, to Haulie and Ian Liston for supplying labour and equipment free of charge and to Athea Community Council Ltd for allowing us to connect to the Christmas street lighting supply ensuring that the defibrillator is kept at a correct temperature in a heated cabinet and that the box will be illuminated during dark hours.
We also put out a call for sponsorship plaques to be purchased and again, we were overwhelmed with the response. 28 sponsors came forward including individuals, families and local clubs which are all listed on the side of the telephone box. We have received many requests for sponsors following the launch but we can now confirm that all plaques have been purchased. We are forever grateful to our sponsors.
Our group were also fortunate to secure support from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Clár Programme.
Denise Riordan also came up trumps on securing a new defibrillator for the telephone box sponsored by the Bank of Ireland, Listowel.
To launch the telephone box, we called upon our four local councillors who have always been a tremendous support to our organisation from day one namely; Councillor Seamus Browne, Councillor Francis Foley, Councillor Liam Galvin and Councillor John Sheahan. Each councillor contributed €1000 in funding towards this project from their GMA Allocation.
Henry also informed all present that following the fantastic support received towards this project, Athea Tidy Towns are now in a position to install high definition CCTV cameras which will ensure that this life saving equipment is protected for many years to come.
Following a blessing from Fr. Brendan Duggan, Seán Liston gave a brief run down on the importance of knowing how to use the defibrillator in the case of an emergency and welcomed anyone that would like to join the Athea First Responders to contact any member of the committee. Local GP Dr. Kieran Murphy also spoke at the launch and declared Athea a ‘Heart Safe Village’ and commended all responsible for delivering on the project.
Tribute was then paid to the many hardworking members of Athea Tidy Towns and everyone present was invited to attend our AGM in December.
Finally, we were treated to a viewing of the Limerick U21 cups organised by Jacqueline O’Connor and Henry Moran. We closed the ceremony by inviting everyone to refreshments at the Top of the Town bar.