The GAA launched a nationwide initiative to help Clubs tackle the phenomenon of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome. The GAA purchased high-quality Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and provided them at every County Ground for on-site use by trained county personnel.

Background to Cardio Vascular Disease
Cardio Vascular Disease is Ireland’s biggest killer, with in the region of 10,000 deaths each year. Six thousand are from sudden cardiac arrest and 70 per cent of these occur outside of hospital. It is imperative that sports clubs and organisations are equipped and prepared to respond in the context of these statistics. The current survival rate of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Ireland is 1 per cent. There is significant evidence to suggest that early intervention can have a major impact on survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.

Defibrillator Scheme
GAA Clubs nationwide can purchase an AED through the scheme from Heartsafety Solutions. The Samaritan PAD is specifically designed for non-medically trained rescuers and comes with the following features:

  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Lifetime support and software upgrades
  • FREE Spare Pad-Pak (battery & pads cartridge)
  • FREE Soft Carry Case
  • FREE Response Kit

For further information on the scheme available to Clubs, please contact Games and Player Welfare Administrator, Ruairí Harvey (

Samaritan PAD – User Video
This informative video takes you step by step through a rescue scenario and shows how the samaritan PAD can help save a life.  Click here to play the video.

ACT to Ensure Heart Safety at your Club
Accessible – make sure that your defibrillator is stored in an area where ACCESS is not restricted, remember minutes are critical. Specialised units are available for outdoor storage.
Charged – Ensure that your defibrillator is fully CHARGED and that self-tests have passed by carrying out weekly inspections. Ensure that your battery and pads (pad-paks) have not reached their expiry date.
Trained – Ensure there are enough TRAINED rescuers to respond anytime the Clubhouse or pitches are occupied. Certified training courses are available from the Irish Heart Foundation training sites ( and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (

Irish Medicines Board Advice on Automated External Defibrillators
The IMB has published this leaflet to provide advice on selecting and purchasing an AED for use in a community setting. It also provides recommendations for maintaining the device after it has been purchased. Please click here to view the leaflet.

This is an important reminder in relation to defibrillators which were purchased by Clubs through the GAA Defibrillator Scheme between 2005 and 2010. A correction is required to address two issues that could affect the device battery and hence its ability to deliver therapy when needed if defibrillators are not regularly maintained. Please click here for more details.

Heartsafety Solutions have been attending monthly committee meetings in Counties and upgrading defibrillators whilst also inspecting all defibrillators regardless of make and model. Many Clubs have availed of this opportunity and ensured that their defibrillators are kept in optimal condition.

If you have or know of a defibrillator that was purchased through the GAA defibrillator scheme between 2005 and 2010 for your Club or Community you can e-mail or call 0 1 865 8685 to arrange for the machine to be upgraded. Additionally, you can contact Heartsafety Solutions directly on 1850 432 787 or for more information.