MEMBERS of Letterkenny Golf Club are undertaking CPR training as part of a new initiative at the club which will also see the purchase of a new defibrillator.
It comes after the sudden passing last November of club member Mark Doherty who died while on a golfing holiday in Portugal.
Mark, a former member of the club’s executive, was playing with a group of golfing friends from Letterkenny when he got into difficulties on the 8th hole at the Dom Pedro Millennium Golf Club in Vilamoura. He passed away a short time later in hospital.
Mark, who was 63, was a native of Strabane, but lived for many years in Letterkenny where he ran a tax and accountancy service.
His passing was met with huge sadness among his many friends at Letterkenny Golf Club and with the support of Mark’s wife Anne and their son Ciaran, a few of Mark’s close friends decided to organise the defibrillator initiative in his memory.
Cathal Roarty, who was along with Mark on the golfing grip in Portugal, said Mark’s death was a massive shock to everyone at the club.
“We just felt we wanted to do something where Mark could be remembered,” Cathal said.
“The idea of installing a defibrillator on the course at Barnhill was something we talked about.
“When you think about it, it’s probably something that all golf clubs and other sports facilities should consider having.
“Club member Marian Keating checked out the best defibrillator to get and it was priced at €4,500. This is relatively expensive but it is solar powered so there is no need for batteries or an external power source.
“Don Ponsonby looked at where it could be located and it was decided that near the eighth tee would be best.”
Cathal and another of Mark’s closest friends, Michael O’Donnell organised some fundraising events which included a highly successful table quiz on the night before St. Patrick’s Day.
To date, an impressive €6,725 has been raised and that will go towards the purchase of the defibrillator and CPR training for those who want to take it up.
The golfing group have also been in regular contact with the Dom Pedro Millennium Golf Club in Vilamoura where the owners are also in the process of installing a defibrillator at their course.
The group plan to return to Portugal in November – a year on from Mark’s passing – and they will install a plaque in his memory on the course.
In the meantime, Letterkenny Golf Club will host a special competition in memory of Mark in July at which the new defibrillator will be installed.