Belfast Telegraph

New plea over lightning conductors

Detectives have issued a renewed appeal over the theft of highly dangerous radioactive lightning conductors.

Gardai said they wanted to repeat a public health warning after seven potentially lethal spikes - which were historically used to prevent lightning damage to church spires - were stolen in a burglary in Swords, Co Dublin.

The hazardous lightning preventers were contained in a red metal box and have the appearance of aluminium or stainless steel but are of no scrap value.

"These are highly dangerous and should not be touched or approached," gardai said.

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) said the hazardous devices could contaminate anyone who came into contact with them, posing a long-term risk of cancer.

The radioactive conductors were stolen during a break-in on Balheary Road in Swords over the weekend of September 27- 29. They had been stored in a safe location where contamination would not have been an issue.

A licence is needed to keep the material and it is understood the legal owner was authorised to keep them.

Gardai urged anyone who comes across the conductors or has any information as to where they are not to go near the items and not to touch them.

Officers urged anyone with information to contact them in Swords on 01 6664700, any Garda station or the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland on 01 2066913, 01 269 7766 or out of office hours on 0879163364.

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