Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.55 21 Apr 2020


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Debenhams staff are holding protests across the country today, calling for a redundancy package for all those who've lost their jobs due to the collapse of the company.

Demonstrations are being held this morning outside Debenhams stores in Cork, Dublin and Waterford - with 'virtual solidarity protests' also being held for those who can't attend.

It comes after it was confirmed that the British retailer is entering into liquidation in Ireland, with the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.

Eleven stores across the country will not be reopening after the current coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

In Dublin city centre, workers gathered outside the Debenhams store on Henry Street - but the demonstration was broken up by gardaí due to the current COVID-19 restrictions on movement and gatherings.

The protesters claim they cleared their plan with local Garda stations beforehand, but this was disputed by gardaí patrolling Henry Street.

Speaking about the liquidation of the firm, one of the protesting Debenhams workers said: "We had already packed up all their valuable stock for them... they're all packed up and ready for the liquidator now.

"We thought we were doing it to protect against looting."

Meanwhile, the protest is being supported by People Before Profit and Solidarity TDs, with the TDs arguing that Debenhams should "not be allowed to walk away" from its Irish operation without redundancy support for workers.

Deputy Mick Barry observed: “Retail Ireland have spoken of a risk to 110,000 jobs in the months ahead. Already we've seen closures at Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse and Laura Ashley.

"That's why it's so important to see the Debenhams workers standing their ground and fighting this injustice." 

Reporting by Kacey O'Riordan and Stephen McNeice
Main image: Workers Pickets outside the Debenhams shop on Henry Street over redundancy issues before gardai moved them on. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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