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Order of Business

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Senator David Norris

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Will the Leader try to convince the Government to intervene in the situation relating to Clerys department store, which is located in an iconic building in this city and which has a very special place in the hearts, not just Dubliners but also of people from all over the country who traditionally come here on 8 December each year to do their Christmas shopping? What is happening at Clerys is a national matter. I understand the company has been taken over by a US group, Gordon Brothers, which seems - I hope I am not doing it an injustice in this regard - to be acting in the best traditions of American vulture capitalism. Clerys, which owed €26 million to Bank of Ireland, was bought by Gordon Brothers for €15 million. This means that Gordon Brothers has been absolved of a debt of €11 million. In other words, it has basically been given a gift in that amount by the taxpayer. Gordon Brothers has now liquidated the Guineys store on Talbot Street and the Clerys outlets in Naas, Leopardstown and Blanchardstown and is not paying redundancies to the staff affected. These people have been referred to the social insurance fund in respect of their redundancies and that is wrong because the taxpayer will again be obliged to foot the bill.
The staff at Clerys are extremely apprehensive. People with almost 40 years service are not going to receive proper pensions. This is horrible. I understand that only €700,000 - a relatively small amount - would be required in order to rectify the position in respect of pensions.