disgusting | 

Outrage over latest vandal attack on Bray memorial to firemen who died in line of duty

The memorial commemorates Sub Station Officer Brian Murray and Fire Fighter Mark O’Shaughnessy who lost their lives as they tackled a blaze in the area in 2007.

The vandalised memorial

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

There has been further condemnation of the “disgusting” vandal attack – for the third time – on a memorial in Bray dedicated to the lives of two brave firemen who died in the line of duty.

The memorial commemorates Sub Station Officer Brian Murray and Fire Fighter Mark O’Shaughnessy who lost their lives as they tackled a blaze in the area in 2007.

The monument located at Fr Colohan Terrace, between the Main Street and Vevay Road was dabbed with red paint overnight.

Fire-Ireland.com took to Twitter to say the Bray Firefighters Memorial had been “vandalised again”.

“Once again the Bray Firefighters Memorial dedicated to the lives of Sub Station Officer Brian Murray and Firefighter Mark O'Shaughnessy who died in the line of duty has been vandalised overnight, they wrote.

“This disgusting hurtful act must be stopped from happening again.”

They also asked Wicklow County Council to “consider more CCTV in the Memorial area to prevent this happening a 3rd time”.

They added: “Our thoughts are with the families of both men and the Bray Fire Station Firefighters today.”

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John Brady TD, who spoke out after the memorial was previously defaced, tweeted: “The monument for brave firefighters Brian Murray & Mark O’Shaughnessy who died tackling a blaze in Bray has been vandalised again.

He added: “3 weeks ago family members arranged to get the memorial cleaned after it was defaced. This mindless act is rightly condemned by the entire community.”

Earlier this month, Deputy Brady and Wicklow’s Chief Fire Officer Aidan Dempsey condemned the acts of vandalism.

Mr Dempsey said he was “saddened and shocked” to see the monument defaced, particularly so soon after a ceremony on September 26 to mark the 15th anniversary of the deaths of the firemen.

Deputy Brady described the act as “an attack on the entire community”, and called for CCTV while asking why new lights that were recently installed had not yet been turned on.

“Following previous acts of vandalism my colleagues Cllr Dermot O’Brien and Cllr Grace McManus succeeded in getting the council to erect public lighting at the memorial to act as a deterrent,” explained Deputy Brady.

“However, the lighting hasn’t been switched on yet, despite it being installed a number of months ago. The council must immediately get the lighting connected, the installation of CCTV must also be examined, this is something that I don’t think anybody thought would ever be needed.”

He added: “This is highly disrespectful and insensitive to the two heroes that paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and to their families. It’s also an attack on the entire community who think so highly of Brian and Mark.”

The first image of the damage appeared on a Facebook forum on October 1, causing outrage throughout the community, who then rallied to remove the graffiti. By Monday evening the monument had been restored.

Explaining the significance of this time of year and both the acts of defacing and restoring, Chief Fire Officer Dempsey, expressed pride in the quick actions to honour his fallen colleagues.

He said: “It is an emotional time of the year for all members of the fire service in Wicklow, and particularly in Bray. We hold an annual wreath laying event both at the fire station, which is attended by fire fighters from all over the country, and there is also a wreath laying at the memorial itself by the fire crew in Bray.

“It’s a time that we remember, and our thoughts and prayers are with both families, the Murray and O’Shaughnessy families and all of their wider friends and colleagues.

He added: “I know at least three or four groups and other individuals when they heard about the vandalism went down to restore the memorial, and it is pristine again. There were fire fighters from Bray, Municipal Council staff and others who I’m still trying to identify. It’s pristine again, thanks to their efforts.”

Mr Dempsey said: “I’m saddened and shocked that anyone would deface the monument, but I would like to thank everyone who responded so quickly to clean the memorial.”

The tag seen on the memorial's graffiti has been seen by locals in other parts of Bray.

In October 2016, family members told how they were disappointed and shocked to see graffiti scrawled on the monument to their loved ones.

The words 'I will survive' were scrawled on the monument before council workers cleaned it up.

The people of Bray donated to the fund for the monument as part of a campaign to pay tribute to Brian and Mark

“It's a fireman's memorial and like any public servant, you expect respect,' said Brian's son Barry, said at the time.

“It doesn't just belong to the family, it's everyone's.”

The monument, designed by artist Ciarán Patterson, was unveiled in September 2013.

Brian and Mark died in a fire at Adelaide Villas on September 26, 2007.


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