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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Advice issued on using registered gas fitters after installer jailed for manslaughter

Two teenagers died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a flat in Castlerock, County Derry in August 2010.

FOLLOWING THE SENTENCING of a boiler installer for manslaughter, the organisation which represents the domestic oil heating and cooking industry in Ireland has urged customers to be vigilant about using registered gas fitters.

Brown who pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence of two school friends has been sentenced to four years in prison, with two years suspended.

George Brown was also fined £19,000 at Belfast Magistrates Court today.

Tragic incident

OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings today issued important advice for householders to prevent tragic incidents like this happening again, stating:

It was clear from this devastating case, that the very sad and untimely deaths of Neil and Aaron may have been prevented if the installation of the boiler had been carried out by a fully qualified and competence technician.

He said “the best way to protect yourself from incidents like this is to make sure that any fuel burning appliance, whether it runs on gas, as was the case in Castlerock, oil or solid fuel, is installed by a fully registered installer”.


Blevings said they should also be serviced regularly by a registered technician – for oil consumers, this is an OFTEC Registered Technician as they carry a flue gas analyser that can specifically check for carbon monoxide spillage.

The sentencing of George Brown followed a large and complex two year investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Investigation Department.

The judge found Brown to have carried overall responsibility for the deaths of the two teenagers, explaining he was guilty of deploying workmen on boiler installation jobs who were not adequately qualified or trained to carry them out.

Read: Gas fitter to spend two years in jail over deaths of two school friends>

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