Croke Park has become the first Heartsafe Stadium in Ireland in
recognition of the level of care provided by the GAA and the
facilities at the stadium.
The Heartsafe Community Programme is an Irish Heart Foundation
initiative, launched by President Mary McAleese in March 2005, which
aims to encourage all communities to strengthen every link in the
'Chain of Survival' in their community.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana congratulated all
involved in helping Croke Park to gain a standard that underlines the
top class facilities available at the stadium.
He said: "We take our responsibilities in this area very seriously and
I am delighted to acknowledge the fact that Páirc an Chrócaigh is the
first stadium in the country to be awarded this accolade.
"We promote best practice in this area, not just here at Croke Park
but across all levels of the Association and we ask all our units to
be mindful of the role they can play in raising awareness of the
threat to heart disease amongst our members and the wider public."
The certification of Croke Park as Ireland's first Heartsafe Stadium
forms part of the Association's efforts to increase resources and
awareness in the area of cardiac survival.
Michael O'Shea, Chief Executive, Irish Heart Foundation added: "The
GAA has shown great initiative already by providing AEDs at every
county training ground and by encouraging every club to purchase the
instruments. But today marks the first time a national stadium has won
the Heartsafe Award. We hope all sports clubs around the country,
national and local, will follow the Croke Park example to become
Since 2007 the GAA have sold approximately 800 defibrillators to clubs
throughout Ireland that has seen thousands of people of all ages
trained in the effective use of defibrillators.
In addition in January this year all inter-county referees were also
trained in the use of defibrillators. The GAA's Medical, Scientific
and Welfare Committee are committed to further efforts in this area
and welcome this award to Croke Park.
The 'Chain of Survival' concept as devised by the Irish Heart
Foundation comprises four vital links that can save a life: Early
Access, Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Early Defibrillation and
Early Advanced Care.
Cardiovascular disease is Ireland's biggest killer disease with over
10,000 deaths each year. Some 5,000 of these fatalities are from
sudden cardiac arrest and, as 70% of these occur out of hospital, it
is imperative that communities, schools and businesses are equipped
and prepared to respond. The current survival rate from an
out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Ireland is as low as 1%.
Images available from www.sportsfile.com.
For further information contact
GAA Communications Manager Alan Milton, 01 8658615