Sunday 23 October 2016

Emotional former Clerys employees tell of their frustration since store's closure

Former Clerys workers at Natrium’s offices in North Wall
Former Clerys workers at Natrium’s offices in North Wall

Ireland was labelled "the best little country in the world to get done in" by an angry former Clerys concession-holder who is owed more than €30,000 from the store's closure.

An emotional creditors meeting was held in the Gresham Hotel yesterday morning, with five representatives selected to head an investigation group to look into the takeover.

Martin O'Sullivan (58) ran the carpets and rugs section of the department store and told the Herald he still has €7,000 worth of stock to get rid of.

"You get plenty of law in this country, but very little justice, I'm afraid," he said.

He said he expects the concession-holders to be waiting a long time to recoup any money owed.

Mr O'Sullivan said he hopes he can get back some of the money spent on stock.

"I've paid off all of our suppliers so we haven't burnt anyone as a result of this, but we've ended up with around €7,000 worth of stock that we can't do anything with at the moment," he said.

Meanwhile, former shop steward for Clerys, John Crowe, broke down in tears as he explained the heartbreak of being let go after more than 43 years of service. He began working in Clerys as a pageboy for Mary Guiney in the 1970s and was a porter in the store. He said he was "in hell" as he tried to cope with the shock.

"I'm trying to recover," he said. "I'm living on my own and didn't leave the house for four weeks. I spent all my life working in Clerys. If I had a problem I'd talk to someone," he said.

"It's nothing to do with the money, I feel I've been robbed out of life."

Concession-holder Lorraine Sweeney of LS Catering said she would be taking separate legal action. She wants the assets of the Clerys holding company, property company and the trading company to be combined for the purpose of liquidation.

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