A WICKLOW MAN has been jailed for six months after illegally carrying out restricted electrical works while converting the attic of a family home.
Michael O’Connell from Co Wicklow was sentenced to three months in prison for undertaking the work without the required licence and three months for falsely portraying himself as a registered electrical contractor.
Sean Ward of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) watchdog told Naas District Court that the work was of poor quality and created a serious safety hazard for the occupants of the house, which included two adults and three young children.
O’Connell was not a registered electrical contractor with the recognised safety supervisory body at the time, thereby committing an offence under the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999.
Judge Desmond Zaidan imposed a six-month custodial sentence with no time suspended due to the severity of the risk posed to consumers.
Dr Paul McGowan of the CER, which successfully brought the prosecution, said: “The fact that the court felt a custodial sentence was required reflects the seriousness of this case and the clear danger to human life it represented.
“This sends a clear message to anybody engaging an individual or company to carry out electrical work in a house that they must be suitably qualified and a registered electrical contractor,” he said in a statement.
McGowan said any member of the public can report an unregistered individual who has undertaken restricted electrical works on www.safeelectric.ie.