The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s independent energy, energy safety and water regulator, secured a significant prosecution against a Dublin man who had continually illegally posed as a qualified and registered gas installer.
Mr. David Murphy, of Glenties Drive, Finglas, Dublin 11 pleaded guilty to 12 offences of illegally portraying himself as a Registered Gas Installer (RGI), and had been trading as Dublin Plumbing and Gas. He received a criminal conviction in Dublin District Court under presiding Judge Brennan.
Judge Brennan heard evidence from Mr. Keith Walsh, Gas Safety Officer with the CRU, of a significant amount of gas works being carried out and that Mr. Murphy had used unregistered installers to carry out the gas works on his behalf.
The CRU outlined that that it had been forced to use a disproportionate amount of resources to investigate, highlighted by the fact that David Murphy continued to portray himself as a registered Gas Installer, even after he had met with the CRU to discuss the allegations.
On May 2nd, Judge Brennan fined Mr. Murphy €7,000 for illegally portraying himself as an RGI, awarded costs of €5,000 to the CRU, and ordered Mr. Murphy to pay €1,000 to an affected homeowner who had given evidence in court.
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.
Members of the public who wish to report unregistered individuals who they suspect have undertaken gas works or have portrayed themselves as a Registered Gas Installers should visit www.rgii.ie.
The CRU’s mission in this area is to protect life, to prevent injury, and to minimise economic loss and it investigates all reports of alleged breaches of legislation. The number of successful prosecutions secured by the CRU have risen annually since 2011, and this prosecution further emphasises the requirement by law for all gas installers to be registered with RGII.
The CRU’s Commissioner for Energy Safety and Chairperson, Dr. Paul McGowan said: “This successful prosecution sends out a strong message to both unregistered installers and consumers. If a gas installer does not have the required registration – or cannot prove membership of the RGI scheme – consumers should not use them. IF consumers suspect that they are acting illegally, they should contact the RGII immediately. The CRU will continue to vigorously pursue such cases against individuals and companies who do not observe the legal requirements for undertaking gas installations or works”.