‘Emotional’ day as school pupils get their defibrillator

Hannah Deery and her grandfather, Edgar McCormick ,pictured with some of the children at the presentation of a Defibrillator to the Nazareth House Primary School. Included, are  Paul O'Hea, principal and Dr Ciara McLaughlin and Dr joe Devlin and Ron Higgins, supplier, Nor-chem. DER4313SL001

Hannah Deery and her grandfather, Edgar McCormick ,pictured with some of the children at the presentation of a Defibrillator to the Nazareth House Primary School. Included, are Paul O'Hea, principal and Dr Ciara McLaughlin and Dr joe Devlin and Ron Higgins, supplier, Nor-chem. DER4313SL001

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Pupils of a Derry school which was robbed just two weeks ago have paid a special thank you to their local community who made up the money stolen by the thieves.

The kids at Nazareth House P.S. were left devastated when the £700 they had raised to buy a defibrillator in memory of former pupil Gavin McCormick, was stolen.

However in a remarakable story of generosity, principal Paul O’Hea explained how when the people of the city found out what happened, they rallied round to help.

Gavin’s father, Edgar, explained that following his son’s death in January, family and friends had forwarded money to donate to a charity to be chosen by himself and his wife, Bridie.

They decided that the installation of a defibrillator at Nazareth House P.S. where the McCormicks’ grandchildren attend, was appropriate.

Edgar was in the school on Wednesday this week to take delivery of the lifesaving equipment. He told the Journal the day had been “emotional” and “tough”, but stressed his sincere thanks to everyone who had contributed to Gavin’s memorial.

School principal Paul O’Hea said the school had been overwhelmed with the generosity of the public.

“Money was sent in from Belfast, Glasgow and local businesses,” he said. “Even a primary one pupil who came in with tooth fairy money. People think we started another fundraising campaign, but we didn’t, people just kept coming and giving us money.”

Now, a fortnight after the money was stolen, the defibrillator is in place and training can begin.

Mr. O’Hea hopes that they can now install “two or three other defibrillators in the area as well”, and is exploring the possibility of using funds to buy defibrillator cabinets for Brandywell, Bogside and surrouding area.

Local schools have been contacted and invited to defibrillator training, and the fact that the school is in possession of a defibrillator will be advertised.