Belfast Telegraph

Grateful Tyrone legend Conor Gormley in defibrillator handout

By Lauren Harte

Three-time All-Ireland winner Conor Gormley has presented five Omagh sports clubs with free defibrillators — months after one saved his father’s life during a GAA match in Co Tyrone.

Conor was accompanied by dad Sean, who was resuscitated after collapsing in May while his son played for Carrickmore in a league match at Ardboe.

Thanks to two nurses and the presence of the defibrillator, Mr Gormley (62) received immediate first aid before being rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital.

Conor (37) was just making his way back on to the pitch for the second half when he was alerted to his father’s collapse.

As the nurses performed CPR, it was Conor who used the defibrillator on him.

His former Tyrone team-mate Cormac McAnallen died suddenly aged just 24 in 2004, and a trust set up in his memory aims to install defibrillators in all sports clubs.

The new devices were provided by Sport Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities as part of their Defibrillators for Sport initiative, which has so far seen more than 1,200 of distributed free to local sports clubs and community groups.

The scheme has also provided CPR training to more than 1,000 people and has involved a mapping exercise with the Ambulance Service to record the location of all the allocated devices.

Conor presented the new defibrillators to Omagh Judo, Omagh Panthers Cheerleading, Seskinore Harriers Pony Club, Clogher Valley Rugby and Omagh Spires Special Olympics Club.

He said the devices will make a huge difference.

“A few months ago my dad had an episode and collapsed at a football match in Ardboe and only for the defibrillator being there and being available, we could have a totally different story,” he added.

“We just wanted to say how important defibrillators are, that they’re regularly checked, regularly updated and that they’re accessible to use.

“You never know when you’ll need it.

“We didn’t know as a family going down to Ardboe to a Gaelic football match that evening that we would have needed one.”

Belfast Telegraph

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