Council official held over fatal fire

A senior Wicklow County Council official was arrested today over a fire which claimed the lives of two firefighters.

Council official held over fatal fire

A senior Wicklow County Council official was arrested today over a fire which claimed the lives of two firefighters.

It is understood the man was detained at Bray Garda Station after officers contacted him for questioning over the blaze in a disused building in September 2007.

He was being quizzed under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held for up to 24 hours.

Part-time firefighters Mark O’Shaughnessy, 26, and Brian Murray, 46, were killed in the blaze when the roof of the abandoned building on Lower Dargle Road in Bray, Co Wicklow, collapsed on them.

Four people have been questioned over the blaze, including at least one senior fire officer.

In late February the offices of Wicklow County Council in Wicklow Town were raided by gardaí probing the deaths.

It is understood a team of officers were attempting to recover files and computer data.

The families of the two firefighters have been campaigning for reform of the fire services in the county since the men’s deaths.

They believe there was a delay in responding to the blaze on Lower Dargle Road as it was out of control by the time the two men arrived at the scene.

Mr Murray, a 10-year veteran of Bray’s retained fire service, had warned superiors just three weeks before his death of dangerous practices in the service.

He wrote to the county’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Joanne O’Connor, after office workers were asked to check a blaze themselves before firefighters were called out.

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