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Wicklow Council to be sentenced over firemen deaths

The local authority pleaded guilty to three charges related to the deaths of Mark O’Shaughnessy and Brian Murray who died fighting a blaze in Bray in 2007.

The funeral of fireman Brian Murray in Bray in 2007.
The funeral of fireman Brian Murray in Bray in 2007.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL will be sentenced this morning in connection with the death of two firemen in 2007.

The local authority pleaded guilty to three out of four charges related to the death of 25-year-old Mark O’Shaughnessy and 46-year-old Brian Murray, who died when the roof of a disused building collapsed on them as they fought a blaze in a disused building in Bray.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) brought charges under health and safety legislation over the Council’s failure to ensure the safety of the firefighters.

Wicklow County Council was accused of not keeping its fire safety statement up to date, not ensuring a second fire engine was brought to the scene of the fatal blaze, and not ensuring that proper training was carried out for firefighters using new equipment.

The local authority faces a maximum possible fine of €3 million under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The Council has asked for its financial situation to be taken into account during formulation of the sentence.

The sentence was originally due to be handed down on 31 July but Judge Desmond Hogan told the court that he needed more time to consider matters.

Sentencing will begin in the Courts of Criminal Justice at 10.30am.

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