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‘Relief’ as community centre defibrillator returned

A VITAL piece of life-saving equipment taken from the front of a community centre in Omagh at the weekend has been found and returned to its rightful place.

The emergency defibrillator outside Strathroy Community Centre went missing on Sunday evening.

Sinn Féin councillor, Marty McColgan, said, “We were devastated to discover this had happened and when I put up a post on social media on Sunday asking if anyone knew where it was, there was a lot of anger from the local community that anyone could interfere with this piece of potentially life-saving equipment.

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“Whether abandoned or an effort was made to leave it back close by, council staff thankfully discovered the defibrillator hanging from a tree in a wooded play area adjacent to the community centre. Luckily it does not seem to have been damaged.”

Mr McColgan added, “There is a lot of relief that it has now been returned but it should never have been interfered with in the first place.”

The PSNI in Omagh have confirmed that the defibrillator, a portable device used to help people having sudden cardiac arrest, will be back in service as soon as it has been checked over for any damage.

A police spokesperson said, “Whoever took this probably thought it was a bit of a prank. The locations of these items are well known to us, the ambulance service and the local community. Just think how you would have felt if it was your relative, your friend or your neighbour who needed the defibrillator and you arrived at the defib point to find it gone.”

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