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Wicklow man jailed for carrying out dangerous electrical work

Michael O’Connell received a six-month sentence after his work was found to have posed a serious safety risk to the occupants of the house.
Feb 12th 2016, 1:05 PM 45,108 61

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.

Read: Dublin City Council ordered to pay family medical damages due to ‘the state’ of their home

Read: Teenager awarded €19k after electronic frame fell on her in Eason shop

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Catherine Healy

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