An unregistered gas installer has been prosecuted after carrying out illegal works which led to an explosion in a Donegal home.
Mr. Jerome Travers of 18 Tullan Strand Road, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, was convicted and fined after appearing at Ballyshannon District Court for the incident which occurred in 2015.
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Ireland’s independent energy regulator secured a prosecution against Mr. Travers for illegally carrying out gas works while not being a registered gas installer.
Judge Kilrane heard how gas works were undertaken in a house in Bundoran in December 2015 which resulted in an uncontrolled flow of gas into the kitchen causing an explosion which injured the occupants and did extensive damage to the property.
Mr. Travers contested the charges against him. Judge Kilrane fined Mr. Travers €500 and awarded costs of €500 to the CER.
Judge Kilrane heard evidence from Seán Ward and Keith Walsh, Gas Safety Officers with the Commission for Energy Regulation and from four witnesses.
Judge Kilrane commented that there are few things more serious than leaving a gas pipe open ended with an uncontrolled supply of gas going into the kitchen. He stressed the importance of employing a registered gas installer (RGI). There was no evidence of Mr. Travers having any qualifications whatsoever to be an RGI, the court heard.
A statement from the CER said the successful prosecution emphasises the requirement by law for all gas installers to be registered with RGII when carrying out domestic gas works.
It is illegal for an individual or company to carry out Gas Works or to portray themselves as registered, unless they are a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) with the Register of Gas Installers of Ireland (RGII). The penalties for non-compliance include a fine of up to €15,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years.
The CER investigates all reports of alleged breaches of legislation. Illegal activity can be reported anonymously to the CER or to the RGII (www.RGII.ie or calling 1850 454 454)