€10,000 fine for Gas Meter Interference in Athy - Gas Meter Tampering Puts Family, Neighbours and Own Lives at Risk

Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed the verdict in a case relating to unlawful interference with a gas meter. Ms. Lisa Kelly with an address of 97 Glebelands, Carlow Road, Athy, Co. Kildare was convicted at Athy District Court on charges of unlawful interference with a gas meter on Tuesday February 25th 2020.

The court heard that Gas Networks Ireland had carried out an investigation at the property in February 2019 and found that an unauthorised meter was installed at the property.

Judge Desmond Zaidan, noting that Ms. Kelly did not make an appearance in court and in light of the serious safety issue, recorded two convictions against Ms. Kelly for meter tampering. Judge Zaidan imposed a €5,000 fine in respect of both offences, totalling €10,000 with three months to pay.

Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager for Gas Networks Ireland said: “This verdict sends out an important message to the public that meter tampering is a serious crime with potentially deadly consequences. Fraud is a very serious issue, but far more serious is the risk to life that meter tampering poses to the perpetrator and to people nearby. We are working to end unlawful interference with gas meters and the dangers associated with this activity.”

“Rogue contractors can make seemingly attractive offers, but the dangers involved, in allowing someone who is not registered and qualified to do the work, are very real. Anyone who either interferes with a gas meter themselves or agrees to allow someone who is not a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) to work on their gas installations is risking their own life, those of their family, and of people living nearby.”

Due to the dangers involved, gas meter tampering is a criminal offence with possible fines of up to €5,000 and prison sentences of up to 6 months for those found guilty of the crime.  Gas Networks Ireland has been actively engaged in identifying, and making safe, installations where tampering has been found and has detected over 2,600 cases of meter tampering across the country since 2013.

Members of the public are asked to report any suspicions of meter tampering to Gas Networks Ireland in strict confidence by calling 1850 200 694.  Further information is available at www.gasnetworks.ie/metertampering

ENDS
Media queries: Marie Sheehan 087 754 8968 / Marie.Sheehan@gasnetworks.ie

About Gas Networks Ireland
Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world and ensures that over 700,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.