Patrickswell couple fined €1,000 for tampering with gas meter
Gas Meter Tampering Puts Family, Neighbours and Own Lives at Risk
Thursday 8th February 2018: Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed the verdict in a case relating to the unlawful interference with a gas meter in Lisheen Park, Patrickswell, Co. Limerick. Mr Edward Harty and Mrs Nora Harty of 41 Lisheen Park, Patrickswell, Co. Limerick were convicted on charges of unlawful interference with a gas meter at the same address. Judge Larkin recorded convictions against both Mr and Mrs Harty and imposed fines of €1,000.
At the case hearing, Gas Networks Ireland outlined that they had been prevented from inspecting the meter on two occasions during 2017 before carrying out an inspection of the gas meter in September 2017. During this visit, they confirmed that the gas meter had been tampered with, impeding it from correctly registering the gas that passed through the meter, and recording accurate gas consumption. In summing up, Judge Larkin said that she was satisfied that the meter had been interfered with.
Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager for Gas Networks Ireland said:
“Today’s 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.”
“Gas customers should only ever allow a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) to work on their gas boiler or gas meter. 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 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 2,300 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
For further information:
Aimee Beale 086 151 4024 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Gas Networks Ireland
Mary O’ Mahony 086 834 2277 / Mary.OMahony@gasnetworks.ie
Issued by Murray on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland
Notes to Editor:
Mr. & Mrs. Harty were convicted of unlawful interference with a gas meter under Section 15 of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 as amended by the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012.
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 almost 680,000 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.