More than 2,000 people are employed at the company's 11 stores in the Republic
Workers at Debenhams are 'reeling' after news that the chain's Irish stores have been put into examinership.
More than 2,000 jobs are at risk at the 11 stores here in the Republic.
The company needs to reduce costs, with reports that agreements from the Celtic Tiger era have them paying €25 million a year in rents.
Gerry Light from trade union Mandate says workers are afraid of losing their jobs.
"Our members are reeling after the announcement yesterday. They're very shocked at disappointment at the developments that came out of the courts yesterday," he told Newstalk Breakfast.
"Today we have to face into the reality, and start drilling down into the issues here with both the company and the examiner to see exactly what are the main challenges facing the Debenhams business here," he added.
Trade union SIPTU says it has written to the company seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.
The union welcomed the company's commitment to maintain 'business as usual' during the examinership process.