• Concerns have been expressed following the vandalism of a life-saving defibrillator in the Ballina area.

    The glass case cover of the defibrillator outside Heffernan's Supermarket in Ardnaree was smashed over the past fortnight, but has since been repaired and replaced.

    This incident again highlights the need for tougher sanctions for those involved in damaging or stealing vital life-saving equipment, according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick.

    Senator Swanick has introduced a new Bill which would provide for tougher fines and even custodial sentences for those convicted of stealing life-bouys or damaging defibrillators and other life-saving equipment.

    The Erris-based Senator is calling for the remaining stages of the Lifesaving Equipment Bill to be bought through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible, saying such "acts of thuggery" need to be dealt with.