Fraudsters who sold useless 'electricity savers' now probed over slurry gas detectors
Three Co Armagh businessmen who sold hundreds of fake "electricity saving devices" to farmers across Ireland are now being investigated over the sale of slurry gas detectors.
The men, who traded as Electricity Saver Ireland, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud last week.
The company targeted farmers, sponsoring farming youth events and marketing itself at the National Ploughing Association Championships in 2012, which draws in thousands of farmers from across Ireland.
Gary John McGeown, John Paul McGeown and Peter Doran pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud consumers and businesses. Their firm is based in Abbey Street, Armagh, and has offices in Dundalk, Co Louth.
Customers were charged between €230 and €8,670 for devices which Trading Standards said amounted to "little more than pieces of plastic".
The trio are also behind a "lifesaving" device sold to farmers to detect lethal slurry gases. This is now the subject of a Health and Safety Executive investigation, the Belfast Telegraph has learned. The HSENI confirmed it was "making enquiries" into the firm's slurry detectors.
Electricity Saver Ireland said the devices, which retail for around €230, would save lives. They are said to warn farmers before toxic gases from manure reached dangerous levels.
They were pushed as a farmyard safety essential after the Spence tragedy, which claimed three farmers' lives in 2012.