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The Cormac Trust – Raising Awareness Of Sudden Cardiac Death in The Young » Archive » Defibrillators in the Community – Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co. Donegal
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Defibrillators in the Community – Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co. Donegal

Filed under: News/Events - Posted on Thursday, May 18th, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

Defibrillators in the Community; text of a speech given by Liam Nelis to an audience in the Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co. Donegal on Thursday 18th May 2006 at a Concert in aid of Fundraising for the purchase of a defibrillator for the school and the community in the Rosses

Cormac Mc Anallen died on Tuesday 2nd March 2004 at the age of 24. Cormac was a remarkable young man, an outstanding sportsman, an excellent leader on and off the field of play, captained Tyrone minor and under 21 to All Ireland glory and a few weeks before he died he had been appointed Captain of the Tyrone Senior football team and he led that team to victory over Donegal in the Mc Kenna Cup final in Ballybofey. He was also a popular young teacher in Armagh where he taught History, Irish and Gaelic Games. He was perhaps the fittest young person in Tyrone but he was taken from us in the early hours of the 2nd March 2004.

After consultation with Cormac’s family the Tyrone County Board decided to establish a charitable trust to honour the memory of Cormac as a person, a sportsman and a trust that would honour the great contribution which Cormac made to our affairs in his short life. The Cormac Trust is charged with providing defibrillators to the clubs/communities in Tyrone for the benefit of all our people; we also provide training in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid. We are also charged with raising awareness about fatal and non fatal heart conditions in young people and about the importance of cardiac screening especially for our young sports people.

The Cormac Trust was launched in April 2005 with £120,000 raised by Club Tyrone which is a fundraising arm of the Tyrone County Board. To date we have provide 54 defibrillators to clubs and community groups in Tyrone and adjoining counties; we have trained at least 6 volunteers in each club/ community group in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid; we have over 350 trained volunteers at the moment. Our idea was to use the clubs in Tyrone to get the defibrillators out into the wider community and I am pleased to tell you that, at the moment, we have defibrillators in supermarkets, Credit Unions, Fire Stations. We have even placed a defibrillator on the rescue boat on Lough Neagh. More and more of our clubs are placing their defibrillator in steel containers in prominent places in the club areas and making known to as many people as possible the contact numbers of our volunteers. We are also currently involved in a project to place defibrillators in the 4 main town centres in Tyrone where staff of the local district councils will be trained in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid. We have also promised to send a Cormac Trust defibrillator to the Tyrone team in New York so that they can present it to Gaelic Park in New York.

The Cormac Trust has also provided manikins for children in the last year of Primary School to be taught CPR by their teachers; we want as many people as possible to be able to deal with a medical emergency by either using a defibrillator and/or CPR.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. About 6,000 cardiac deaths occur each year in Ireland. The majority of victims have no warning as they have no prior symptoms. Add to this the time that it takes to call for help, to reach the individual, to assess the situation and deliver the first shock. Less than 5% of victims survive sudden cardiac arrest outside hospital. If defibrillation can be given within 3/5 minutes, 74% of people can survive.

At the moment, Tyrone has a population of roughly 160,000 people living in mainly rural communities. We do not have a local acute hospital any more; we have lost one of our acute hospitals and many of the functions of our second hospital have been taken away. In this situation we see the work of The Cormac Trust as essential. Many of our people live and work in places where it takes considerably more than 5 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. The more defibrillators we can place in our local communities and the more people that can be trained in their use and in CPR the safer our county will become. That is the task that The Cormac Trust has set itself and it is a task worthy of a person like Cormac Mc Anallen.
Cormac Mc Anallen died on Tuesday 2nd March 2004 at the age of 24. Cormac was a remarkable young man, an outstanding sportsman, an excellent leader on and off the field of play, captained Tyrone minor and under 21 to All Ireland glory and a few weeks before he died he had been appointed Captain of the Tyrone Senior football team and he led that team to victory over Donegal in the Mc Kenna Cup final in Ballybofey. He was also a popular young teacher in Armagh where he taught History, Irish and Gaelic Games. He was perhaps the fittest young person in Tyrone but he was taken from us in the early hours of the 2nd March 2004.

After consultation with Cormac’s family the Tyrone County Board decided to establish a charitable trust to honour the memory of Cormac as a person, a sportsman and a trust that would honour the great contribution which Cormac made to our affairs in his short life. The Cormac Trust is charged with providing defibrillators to the clubs/communities in Tyrone for the benefit of all our people; we also provide training in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid. We are also charged with raising awareness about fatal and non fatal heart conditions in young people and about the importance of cardiac screening especially for our young sports people.

The Cormac Trust was launched in April 2005 with £120,000 raised by Club Tyrone which is a fundraising arm of the Tyrone County Board. To date we have provide 54 defibrillators to clubs and community groups in Tyrone and adjoining counties; we have trained at least 6 volunteers in each club/ community group in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid; we have over 350 trained volunteers at the moment. Our idea was to use the clubs in Tyrone to get the defibrillators out into the wider community and I am pleased to tell you that, at the moment, we have defibrillators in supermarkets, Credit Unions, Fire Stations. We have even placed a defibrillator on the rescue boat on Lough Neagh. More and more of our clubs are placing their defibrillator in steel containers in prominent places in the club areas and making known to as many people as possible the contact numbers of our volunteers. We are also currently involved in a project to place defibrillators in the 4 main town centres in Tyrone where staff of the local district councils will be trained in the use of the defibrillator, CPR and basic First Aid. We have also promised to send a Cormac Trust defibrillator to the Tyrone team in New York so that they can present it to Gaelic Park in New York.

The Cormac Trust has also provided manikins for children in the last year of Primary School to be taught CPR by their teachers; we want as many people as possible to be able to deal with a medical emergency by either using a defibrillator and/or CPR.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. About 6,000 cardiac deaths occur each year in Ireland. The majority of victims have no warning as they have no prior symptoms. Add to this the time that it takes to call for help, to reach the individual, to assess the situation and deliver the first shock. Less than 5% of victims survive sudden cardiac arrest outside hospital. If defibrillation can be given within 3/5 minutes, 74% of people can survive.

At the moment, Tyrone has a population of roughly 160,000 people living in mainly rural communities. We do not have a local acute hospital any more; we have lost one of our acute hospitals and many of the functions of our second hospital have been taken away. In this situation we see the work of The Cormac Trust as essential. Many of our people live and work in places where it takes considerably more than 5 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. The more defibrillators we can place in our local communities and the more people that can be trained in their use and in CPR the safer our county will become. That is the task that The Cormac Trust has set itself and it is a task worthy of a person like Cormac Mc Anallen.

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