NO DAMAGE: Killarney Cardiac Response Unit volunteers Carole Moran and Bridget Delaney say there was no damage done to the defibrillator on Main St at the weekend. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy


By Sean Moriarty

The Main St defibrillator phone box, which houses an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), a device crucial in the early intervention of heart attack victims was not damaged after a young man was filmed dancing on its roof while a crowd gathered beneath to cheer him on last weekend.

The video posted on social media was subsequently viewed over 300,000 times while RTÉ carried it on its main evening news bulletin on Sunday night.

The incident happened around midnight on Saturday night and received widespread condemnation as the crowd breached several social distancing rules.

However, Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) said the incident helped highlight the work of its members as it reminded people that the traditional style phone box is not a tourist attraction but a defibrillator hut and that it put their efforts on the national news.

The Main St telephone kiosk was the first such unit to be converted into an AED house. It was officially opened in November 2016 by a volunteer group called Heart of Killarney.

“It is the most famous phone box in the country this week,” PRO Carole Moran told the Killarney Advertiser. “This highlighted what we do, the work of our volunteers and many people would not know it is home to an AED.”

Her only concern was the incident caused damage to the unit or the phone box itself.

“We had a team of maintenance volunteers on site at 8am Sunday morning and we are happy to report that no damage has been done,” she added.