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Outrage after club’s defibrillator trashed on vandal rampage


Angry: Councillor Billy Ashe

Angry: Councillor Billy Ashe

Angry: Councillor Billy Ashe

Vandals destroyed a life-saving defibrillator when they went on the rampage at a Carrickfergus football ground.

The device - paid for by charity fundraising and installed at the Carrick Rangers' Taylors Avenue ground in 2015 - had been ripped from its cabinet and thrown into a nearby stream, the club said yesterday.

Local man Bill Cameron found the broken fragments of the defibrillator device beeping in a river as he walked his dog in the town yesterday morning.

The club's social media channel blazed with angry comments from outraged fans and local people.

Kristina Cooke posted on Facebook: "Absolute disgrace! As the mum of an academy player who has a heart condition that equipment is life saving!

"Let's hope the people who did this or a member of their family never need it someday!"

In a social media statement, the club described what had happened, and appealed for witnesses and information.

"Our 3G pitch was being used for what looks like a party," the club said.

"Not only did the trespassers leave their mess behind, but they also thought it smart to steal the defibrillator located at the green hub.

"This is life-saving equipment that these idiots have taken. If if anyone has any information please contact us.

"If you were there and saw what happened let us know.

"All we want is the defibrillator back - you'd hate to be the one that took it and cost someone their life."

Carrick Rangers youth coach Stuart Connor told the BBC: "It's life-saving equipment. The clue is in the name. It's there to save lives.

"I know young people can mess about, and peer pressure is a big thing, but there is a lot of good young people who have a bit of common sense and can say, 'Maybe knock it on the head lads, don't be destroying stuff.'

"It wasn't stolen to order or to be sold. It was just stolen, broken and cast away in the river. It's disappointing."

DUP councillor Billy Ashe said the local community had been shocked, saddened and outraged by the disrespect shown by the vandals.

"Their mothers, fathers or grandparents could need this defibrillator - but when you're a teenager, those things are far from your mind," he said.

Defibrillators, which are generally housed in bright yellow wall-hung cabinets, are regularly targeted by vandals.

The PSNI is investigating the incident.

Belfast Telegraph