An experienced electrician has said the tampering of ESB supply boxes across Donegal is rampant.
The contractor contacted Donegal Daily after our story yesterday in which a woman was ordered to pay the ESB almost €4,000 after an electrician was hurt while examining a meter box.
The woman did not tamper with the meter box but was aware the electricity supply had been interfered with.
Bettina Adams of the Spice of India restaurant in Milford admitted the charge.
Today the electrician warned that people are so desperate to avoid paying charges that they are going to any lengths to block meters.
And he warned that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.
“It is much more common place that people realise. With people more and more strapped for cash, they are wiling to take chances.
“But taking chances with electricity is just madness. I have had some close calls.
“People used to use magnets to slow down or disrupt the reading on the meter but the ESB have now rectified that situation.
‘But people are coming up with different ways of tampering with meter boxes and they are literally taking their lives in their hands,” he said.
Meter tampering charges regularly come before the local courts.
Judge Paul Kelly echoed the warning given by the electrician who contacted us.
Addressing the injuries suffered by an electrical contractor at the Milford incident, he said “This graphically illustrates the dangers of such operations.”