Gas Networks Ireland has welcomed a hefty fine imposed in Galway for tampering with a gas meter, issuing a public warning that interfering with a gas supply can put lives in danger.
Ciaran Scully of School Road, Castlegar was convicted at Galway District Court of unlawful interference with a gas supply and fined €3,500.
The court heard that Gas Networks Ireland had investigated his property and found that the gas installation had been unlawfully interfered with.
Mr Scully pleaded guilty and the court imposed a fine of €3,500 and awarded an additional €500 in costs.
“Unlawfully interfering with a gas meter is a serious public safety concern.” says Owen Wilson, Networks Safety Manager, Gas Networks Ireland.
He added that “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.
Tampering with them is a criminal offence that carries a fine of up to €5,000 or a six month prison sentence.
Since 2013 Gas Networks Ireland has detected over 2,600 cases of meter tampering around the country.
Owen Wilson said 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.”