Memorial unveiled to Bray firefighters

Mark O’Shaughnessy(25) and Brian Murray(46) died fighting a blaze in 2007.

 

A memorial to the memory of Bray firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty was unveiled in the town this afternoon.

Mark O’Shaughnessy(25) and Brian Murray(46) died while fighting a blaze in the Little Bray area in 2007.

Both Bray and Wicklow councils set aside protocol to forego normal speaking roles at the ceremony.

Between them, the councils contributed land and money to the memorial but as Wicklow County Council had pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety laws arising from the men’s deaths, family members and colleagues deemed it inappropriate to have council representatives speak.

Hazel O’Brien, who was the girlfriend of Mark O’Shaughnessy, said the families and the firefighters were still awaiting completion of a trial arising out of the deaths.

Wicklow County council had initially denied four charges of breaching health and safety regulations, but the plea was changed after an eight-day trial. The council then pleaded guilty earlier this year to three charges of failing to ensure the safety of employees, failing to update a safety statement and failing to provide adequate training.

Another charge of failing to have a risk assessment in place was dropped.

It had been expected sentencing would take place in July. “But this has now been put back until the middle of October,” said Ms O’Brien.

Designed by local Co Wicklow artist Ciarán Patterson, the monument is located at the entrance to Father Colohan Terrace in the town. A large crowd of fire fighters and townspeople turned out for the event.