herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'The Government should do everything in their power to do something for staff'

Mary Byrne
Mary Byrne

A HOST of well-known faces have thrown their weight behind the Clerys workers following the sudd en closure of the store.

Singer Mary Byrne, who worked in retail before her X Factor success, has called for the Government to intervene.

"It will be a sad day for Dublin if Clerys is allowed to close," she told the Herald.

"The Government should do everything in their power to keep such an iconic shop open or do something for the staff.

"O'Connell Street will never be the same again if it is closed for good."

The star had a fond memory of the historic store that is shared by many Dubliners.

"I remember meeting my first proper boyfriend under the Clerys clock when I was young - I think everyone did that," she said.

Meanwhile, broadcaster Joe Duffy has described the treatment of the shop workers as "horrific".

"It's unbelievable and unacceptable that they have been treated in this way," he said.

"There has to be some sense of morality going forward.

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"I think it's also a wake-up call for everyone about the need for O'Connell Street to be rejuvenated.

"Something has to be done."

The RTE presenter said tour buses that use the city's main thoroughfare should be moved elsewhere.

"You can barely see Clerys a lot of the time because of a wall of buses," he said.

Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan has called for all workers to rally behind the Clerys staff.

"It's a dreadful way to treat them, and people need to get behind them because it won't stop there if they are let get away with it this time," he warned.

"Those poor people have mortgages and kids. Imagine waking up one day and finding out your job is gone.

"It's just not the way to do business - it's like something you would hear about from 100 years ago - it's disgraceful.

"They shouldn't be the ones to bear the brunt of the closure - it's certainly not their fault.

"I hope that this isn't the way that Ireland is going."

Cowan said he remembered visiting the shop as a child to visit Santa Claus and an annual trip to pick up school uniforms.

"Unfortunately, as I got older I didn't shop there as much," he said.

"I think Clerys got a bit left out on the wayside because of its location."

Radio presenter Ryan Tubridy added his voice to the mix earlier this week.

He slammed the treatment of the workers as "disrespectful".

"I don't think you have to be from Dublin to get how big it is," he said.

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