Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011

53.

Prohibition on opening of postal packets and mail bags.

53.— (1) A person commits an offence if he or she, without the agreement of the addressee and, in the case of a person who is a postal service provider or an employee or agent of a postal service provider, contrary to his or her duty, intentionally—

( a) delays, detains, interferes with or opens, a postal packet addressed to another person or does anything to prevent its delivery or authorises, suffers or permits another person (who is not the addressee) to do so,

( b) discloses the existence or contents of a postal packet referred to in paragraph (a) , or

( c) uses for any purpose any information obtained from a postal packet referred to in paragraph (a) .

(2) A person commits an offence if he or she, without reasonable excuse and, in the case of a person who is a postal service provider or an employee or agent of a postal service provider, contrary to his or her duty, intentionally opens a mail bag.

(3) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a class C fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €75,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

(4) This section does not apply to any person who is acting—

( a) pursuant to any of the powers as to the transmission of postal packets set out in section 47 ,

( b) pursuant to a direction given by the Minister under section 110 of the Act of 1983, as applied by section 54 , or

( c) under other lawful authority.