New legislation which will impose strict penalties on people who damage or steal life-saving equipment will be discussed in the Seanad this week.
The Life Saving Equipment Bill 2017 was introduced by Senator Keith Swanick.
"Every year local authorities report the theft of life saving equipment such as lifebuoys and life rings from our rivers, lakes and beaches. These vandalous acts are putting lives at risk every week and should not be tolerated," said Senator Swanick.
"I have travelled across the country in recent months to meet with local authorities and community groups who are frustrated by these thefts and who want to see measures introduced to deter people from engaging in this reckless behaviour.
"Unfortunately, lifebuoys are not the only lifesaving devices that are vandalised. I have been contacted by community groups who have had their defibrillators destroyed. This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice."
The proposed Bill seeks to make it an offence to steal or damage life-saving equipment such as defibrillators and lifebuoys.
Penalties for interfering with life-saving equipment include a fine of up to €50,000 and a jail term of up to 5 years.
The Second Stage debate for the Life Saving Equipment Bill 2017 will take place on Tuesday 23rd January at 6pm.
- Digital Desk