Council official released after fatal fire quiz

A senior Wicklow County Council official was released from garda custody today after being arrested over a blaze which claimed the lives of two firefighters.

A senior Wicklow County Council official was released from garda custody today after being arrested over a blaze which claimed the lives of two firefighters.

It is understood the man was detained at Bray Garda Station yesterday after arriving by appointment for questioning over the fire in a disused building in September 2007.

Gardai said he was released in the early hours of the morning without charge. A file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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

Part-time firefighters Mark O’Shaughnessy, 26, and Brian Murray, 46, were killed in the fire when the roof of the abandoned building on Lower Dargle Road in Bray 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 gardai 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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