LATEST: Debenhams workers in Cork stand down city centre protest after Gardaí intervene 

LATEST: Debenhams workers in Cork stand down city centre protest after Gardaí intervene 

Former Debenhams staff blockade van at the rear of Debenhams Ireland Cork store, on Merchant Street, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Update: Staff at Debenhams's Patrick's Street store in Cork have stood down their protest outside the service yard, which had been ongoing since lunchtime today.

According to Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, who was at the protest, staff were informed by Gardaí that they had to allow a van, which they had refused to allow exit the premises, to leave.

The workers believe cash has been taken from the store in the van, and have not been able to clarify with liquidators KPMG that the money will not leave the country.

"The workers are looking for insurance that the money taken out of Mahon Point and Patrick's Street today will be saved for the workers redundancy package," Deputy Gould said.

"For me it highlights how weak workers rights are in this country, and that's something that I certainly will be raising in the Dáil again." 

The Echo has contacted KPMG and Debenhams for comment

Earlier:

Former staff from Debenhams Patrick’s Street store in Cork are striking outside the service yard of the premises this afternoon, as they claim Debenhams are “trying to take what cash was in the store out”.

Workers had been protesting outside Bank of Ireland branches, due to them being a part owner of the Debenhams parent company.

In recent weeks staff had been keeping an eye on the service yard of the store, as they had anticipated stock or money would be taken from the shop by Debenhams.

Today, the staff believe there was an attempt to remove cash from the store. Debemhams have been contacted by The Echo for comment but there has been no confirmation that cash is being removed. 

Former Debenhams staff blockade van at the rear of Debenhams Ireland Cork store, on Merchant Street, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Former Debenhams staff blockade van at the rear of Debenhams Ireland Cork store, on Merchant Street, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Mandate shop steward at Debenhams Patrick Street, Valerie Conlon told The Echo: “We have our strike placards and we’re outside the service yard striking.

“We’re stopping [a vehicle] from leaving the service yard at the moment.

“It’s an official strike now. We are within our rights to strike. That’s what we had voted for last week and what 97% said yes to,” Ms Conlon said.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said: “As far as staff are concerned that’s money to save their jobs, it’s money for a decent redundancy package.” 

Ms Conlon said no stock has been moved from the store yet.

It is not yet known whether cash is being removed from other Debenhams outlets across the country today, however staff at Patrick's Street understand that cash may have been taken from the store at Mahon Point Shopping Centre.

It is understood that workers have been told by Gardaí to let the van exit the city centre premises.

More in this section

Sponsored Content