Boardroom in darkness

The CRU has secured a prosecution against Brian Farrell for illegally carrying out restricted electrical works and falsely portraying himself as a registered electrical contractor (REC).

Brian Farrell of Ballymahon, Co Longford was criminally convicted at Longford District Court on February, 16, 2024 in respect of two offences namely:

  1. Carrying out designated electrical works without being a registered electrical contractor contrary to Section 9E (3) of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 as amended
  2. Describing himself as a registered electrical contractor or in a manner likely to suggest he was a registered electrical contractor without being a member of a designated body contrary to Section 9D (25) of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended.

Prosecution Evidence
The Court heard evidence from Seán Ward, CRU Electrical Investigative Officer, that:

  1. On 19 April 2021 the CRU received a notification via email from the Safety Supervisory Body, Safe Electric, regarding alleged illegal electrical works carried out on a domestic property at Tang, Ballymahon, Co. Westmeath by Mr Brian Farrell.
  2. Brian Farrell stated, prior to work commencing, that he could certify the electrical work to allow the ESB to connect the electricity to the homeowners’ new home once the works were completed.

Brian Farrell also continued to suggest that he was able to issue a certificate and in doing so, portrayed himself in a manner likely to suggest he was a registered electrical contractor.

On the 5th February 2020, the homeowner posted on a facebook page looking for advice on a builder.
On the 6th February 2020 Brian Farrell contacted the homeowner after seeing the post, asking to keep him in mind for the electrical works.

In January 2021, the homeowner met Brian Farrell outside a shop, in the local area, and he said he would be still interested in quoting.

Brian Farrell eventually started on site to complete the electrical wiring in September 2021, while informing them he was in the process of becoming Safe Electric registered and assured the homeowners confidence in his ability.

Mr Farrell previously applied with Safe Electric to become a registered electrical contractor but this application was rejected in May 2021.
Subsequent inspections found a number of breaches of the national wiring rules whereby;
(a) main tails cabling, cabling to solar PV and percolation all undersized.

a) No isolation provided for inaccessible sockets

b) lighting circuits wired with only a foot of oversized cabling, overpopulated and not wired to ever function

c) some lighting and socket circuits wired from a bedroom socket


d) No certificate of compliance was issued for the electrical works completed.

These were potential hazards to occupants of the house.

Mr Farrell attended the CRU on a voluntary basis and made full admissions of guilt under caution. He also admitted to providing a fake Electrical Completion Certificate to the homeowner. The Court viewed photographs of the electrical works carried out by Mr Farrell.

Court Ruling
Judge Bernadette Owens noted the mitigation put forward by Mr Farrell’s solicitor that he cooperated with the CRU investigation, had made a substantial repayment to the homeowner.

Judge Owens commented that this was a very serious matter and, in the circumstances, imposed criminal convictions and fines of €1,000 in respect of both offences, totalling €2,000.

It is illegal for an individual or company to carry out Restricted Electrical Works or to falsely portray themselves as registered, unless they are a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) with Safe Electric. 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 an unregistered individual who has undertaken electrical works or has portrayed themselves as a Registered Electrical Contractor should visit

The CRU’s Chairperson, Jim Gannon, said: “This successful prosecution by CRU sends a clear message that, Safety is paramount and the CRU will actively investigate and prosecute unregistered individuals that act outside the law. The CRU would remind the public that all restricted electrical works in the home must be completed by registered electrical contractors, to ensure the work is safe.“

For further information and to find a Registered Electrical Contractor please visit