Prosecution for Gas Meter Tampering in Cork
Unlawful gas meter interference puts lives at risk
Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed the verdict in a case relating to unlawful interference with a gas meter. Ms Bridget O’Donoghue with an address of 47 Laurel Ridge, Blarney Road, Cork was convicted at Cork District Court on charges of unlawful interference with a gas meter on Wednesday, 25th September 2019.
The court heard that Gas Networks Ireland carried out an investigation at the property in May 2019 and found the gas meter in situ had been unlawfully tampered with. Ms O’Donoghue pleaded guilty to the charge. Judge Con O’Leary, having heard the evidence, recorded a conviction against Ms O’Donoghue under section 5 of the Energy Act 2012 legislation, and imposed a fine of €150.
“Unlawfully interfering with a gas meter is a serious public safety concern,” says Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager, Gas Networks Ireland.
“A tampered meter is dangerous and creates a risk of a gas explosion which can result in serious injury or even death. Those who tamper with gas meters not only put themselves at risk, but also other occupants of the property, neighbours and members of the public.”
By law, only Gas Networks Ireland representatives and registered gas installers are authorised to work on natural gas meters and pipework. It is illegal to ask, pay or allow someone else to tamper with your meter.
Wilson continues, “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.”
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 1800 464 464. Further information is available at www.gasnetworks.ie/metertampering
Marie Sheehan | PR Manager
Gas Networks Ireland
087 754 8968