Council to be tried over deaths of firemen

A COUNTY council was served with a book of evidence yesterday ahead of the trial into the deaths of two firemen in a blaze at a disused factory four years ago.

Wicklow County Council, as a corporate body, is the defendant facing four charges in connection with the deaths of Mark O’Shaughnessy, aged 25, and Brian Murray, aged 46, who were killed as they battled a fire at a building at Adelaide Villas, Bray, in September 2007.

At Bray District Court yesterday, Seamus Boyle for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the book of evidence had been served on the council, adding that the DPP consented to the matter being sent forward for trial at Wicklow Circuit Court on December 6.

Barrister Martina Baxter, instructed by Patrick Cahill Solicitors, for Wicklow County Council, confirmed the book of evidence had been given to the council.

The council is to be charged with four offences under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The charges claim that between September 2005 and 2007 it failed to discharge its duty to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of its firefighters operating from Bray fire station in the extinguishing of fires.

No effective system of control and communication was established or co-ordinated by the council, the charges add, “as a result of which Brian Murray and Mark O’Shaughnessy suffered personal injury”.

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