Monday 27 January 2020

Garda saves heart attack marathon runner's life

The KBC Dublin Marathon. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
The KBC Dublin Marathon. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

A garda is being hailed a hero after saving a man's life when he collapsed while taking part in the Dublin City Marathon at the weekend.

Detective Niamh Connaughton was on duty near Chapelizod on Sunday when a runner collapsed on the course in front of her having suffered a suspected heart attack.

Having been trained in first aid and CPR, Det Connaughton immediately took control, assisted by a colleague, and kept the man alive with breaths and chest compressions until members of Dublin Fire Brigade arrived at the scene.

They continued treatment until the man was taken to the Mater Hospital.


According to Dublin Marathon organisers, the man is expected to make a full recovery.

Gardai confirmed that a man in his early 60s fell ill during the Dublin City Marathon and two garda members came to his aid.

Det Connaughton's colleagues at Clondalkin Garda Station said the officer did a brilliant job under difficult circumstances.

"Thanks to her, some children or grandchildren might still have their dad or grandad around," said a fellow detective.

"It just goes to show the importance of first aid training. You never know when you might need it and it can literally be the difference between life and death.

"It's something everyone should learn, regardless of their walk of life."

Other sources said Det Connaughton had brought the man back to life on the roadside while others looked on.

"The figures for surviving a heart attack in hospital is around one in 10, but for Niamh to have revived this man by the side of the road is incredible," said one garda source.

The incident happened between the River Liffey and Mullingar House just outside Chapelizod.

It is believed that the runner may have been a visitor to the country.

More than 20,000 people took part in the event, which grows in popularity with every succeeding year.

Organisers told the Herald last night that they "can confirm that a participant took ill on the course of the KBC Dublin Marathon".

"We can confirm that a garda was present and that the runner was attended to by the medical team immediately and taken to hospital by ambulance," a spokesperson said.

"They are expected to make a full recovery."

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