Wicklow County Council has been charged at Bray District Court in connection with the deaths of two firefighters in the town almost four years ago.

Father-of-15, Brian Murray, 46, and Mark O'Shaughnessy, 26, died while they tried to extinguish a blaze on 26 September 2007.

Wicklow County Council as a corporate body, represented by its legal team, appeared before the court this morning to face four charges arising out of the tragedy.

All four charges relate to alleged breaches by Wicklow County Council as an employer of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, between 1 September 2005 and 27 September 2007.

During the brief hearing, Seamus Boyle for the Director of Public Prosecutions told Judge Murrough Connellan that it was intended to proceed with the case on indictment and he asked for more time for the preparation of the book of evidence.

Counsel for Wicklow County Council said it had no difficulty with that and Judge Connellan agreed to put the case back to 11 October.

The first of the four charges relates to the council's alleged failure as an employer to discharge its duty to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of its firefighter employees in Bray.

The charge sheet specifies four areas in which the council allegedly failed in this area.

Separately, the council is also charged with allegedly failing to review the fire service's safety statement, in circumstances where there was valid reason to believe it was no longer as required under the law.

The third charge relates to the council's alleged failure to identify hazards, assess risks presented by such hazards and have a written assessment of risk to the safety, health and welfare of firefighter employees in Bray.

The final charge is that the council allegedly failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees fighting a fire in a disused building, because it provided them with a compressed air foam system but did not give them sufficient training in its use.

Wicklow County Council faces a total fine of up to €12m if it is found guilty of all four charges.