Carlow’s Shane Webb fractured his leg in two places during Wednesday’s Leinster MFC clash with Westmeath at Dr Cullen Park.
As soon as the incident occurred, pitch side doctor Tom Foley called for an ambulance and had the 18 year-old removed to the ground’s medical room.
There were however no ambulances available in Carlow, so one was sent for in Portlaoise. That ambulance was diverted en route however as there had been a cardiac arrest that had to be attended to urgently.
A third ambulance then had to be called. Incredibly, this time it was sent from Carlow — where the incident had taken place. The footballer was finally transferred from Kilkenny to Waterford — where he arrived for treatment at 3a.m. — some seven hours later.
He was finally operated on at 2:30p.m. on Thursday – more than 17 hours after the incident which injured him had taken place. His family have said that they were shocked at the way he was treated and that they wanted assurances that it wouldn’t be allowed to happen again: “They brought him on to St Luke’s in Kilkenny where he was assessed and told they were transferring him to Waterford,” said his uncle, Independent councillor Walter Lacey.
Mr. Lacey called on the Health Service Executive (HSE) to review its procedures or else there could be “dire consequences” in the future.
In a statement, the HSE said the region was well served by ambulances. “Two ambulance vehicles and crew are on duty in Carlow, seven days a week from 9am to 12am and at least one overnight. Kilkenny is covered by two crews on a 24 hour-a-day, seven day-a-week basis.”