The Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy has unveiled a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque at the spot where two firefighters died while fighting a large fire in Westmoreland Street more than 130 years ago.
The fire broke out at the premises of Graham’s chemists and Lafayette’s photographers, now part of CCT College.
Graham’s chemist occupied the first two floors, with Lafayette’s photographers on the next two, and living accommodation on the fifth floor. At approximately 2 a.m. a fire was discovered on the third floor. There were four occupants on the fifth floor, two of whom managed to escape to the street and raise the alarm but two women were trapped on the fifth floor.
During the fire service response Inspector Christopher Doherty, who had 25 years’ service in Dublin Fire Brigade and was the holder of three chevrons for bravery for saving life on previous occasions, and Fireman Peter Bourke, three months’ service in Dublin Fire Brigade, paid the ultimate price in their role as firefighters and lost their lives here while saving the life of a civilian.
Speaking at the unveiling the Lord Mayor said, “In unveiling this plaque today we remember the sacrifices made by two brave firemen in the service of their city and its citizens. In doing so we are also acknowledging the great service that their successors in today’s Dublin Fire Brigade give to our City day in and day out.”
The Lord Mayor thanked CCT College and its president Neil Gallagher for agreeing to have the plaque erected on the building.
Also speaking at the unveiling Chief Fire Officer Dennis Keeley said, “The Dublin Fire Brigade of today is a well-respected, progressive, forward looking fire, ambulance and rescue service which trains and prepares for the needs of today’s city and plans for the future. In doing so however we are also very aware that expertise is born from experience. We are very much aware of the heritage we inherit as members of Dublin Fire Brigade, a heritage born from the history, work and sacrifice of past members – of lessons learned in the heat of fires and emergencies gone by – and sometimes in the sacrifice of those who went before us.T his, the first in a planned series of four DFB related plaques marking places where Dublin firefighters lost their lives while on duty, is being erected to mark the site of the death of these two Dublin Fire Brigade members on 20 May 1891.”
The decision to erect the plaque was made by the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee, whose chair, Councillor Micheál Mac Donncha, said, “The Commemorative Plaques Scheme allows the City to formally commemorate people who have made a significant contribution to the life of Dublin. We welcome suggestions from the public for people and events to be commemorated, and full details are on the Council website.”
PHOTOS – FENNELL PHOTOGRAPHY