Wicklow council expresses regret for breaching legislation following firemen death trial

Wicklow County Council has expressed sincere regret for breaching safety legislation following a trial arising from the deaths of two fire fighters.

Wicklow County Council has expressed sincere regret for breaching safety legislation following a trial arising from the deaths of two fire fighters.

Father of 15, Brian Murray and 26-year-old Mark O’Shaughnessy died fighting the blaze at a disused ink factory at Adelaide Villas in Bray on September 26, 2007.

Today, Wicklow County Council admitted it failed to protect the health, safety and welfare of its fire fighters.

As the two men’s partners Hazel O’Brien and Mary Murray took a moment to embrace outside court, John Kidd of the Irish Fire and Emergency Service Association spoke on behalf of their families.

“They hope lessons can be learned from this, we want no members of the fire service to suffer this, nor members of the public,” he said.

Colleagues of the two fire fighters described the fatal blaze at a disused factory as a time bomb that looked like a 747 plane had crashed.

The three guilty pleas came on day nine of the trial, with the council admitting it failed to review a safety statement for the fire service and didn't provide adequate back-up and training for staff.

However, Wicklow County Manager Eddie Sheehy made it clear the council is not responsible for the deaths. “Importantly, the amendment of account number one acknowledges the deaths were not as a consequence of the breaches of the act in 2005.”

The council will be sentenced on July 30 and could be fined up to €3m.

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