WHEN the committee spearheading the new Heart of Killarney initiative was considering who to ask to officially launch the project, there was only ever going to be one contender.

Cutting the ribbon cut for the unveiling of the new defibrillator kiosk on Main Street this morning was local teenager Tom Geaney who is the picture of health less than two years after he was brought back to life with the use of a defibrillator.

Tom, from Muckross, was just 16 when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the sideline while helping to train a Killarney Celtic under 11 team in December 2014.

He he had stopped breathing for 25 minutes but, miraculously, he was brought back to life thanks to the swift action of Celtic trainer Eugene Cosgrave and Tom’s pal Brendan Coppinger, who were both trained in CPR and defibrillator use.

Tom, whose parents John Geaney and Fiona Gallagher are both doctors in Killarney, owes his life to the quick reaction of Celtic members and immediate access to a defibrillator.

The new Heart of Killarney project aims to increase the public awareness around the location and availability of the 13 defibrillators in the town and those involved want the initiative to be rolled-out at a national level.

Telephone kiosks had always played a part in local communities and while they are now few and far between, the Killarney Heart Safe committee wants to give them a new lease of life to house defibrillators instead of phones.

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