Business Irish

Sunday 24 September 2017

Clerys bosses to come face-to-face with ex-workers

Deirdre Foley: centre of controversy
Deirdre Foley: centre of controversy

Gordon Deegan

The people behind a €150m redevelopment plan for the Clerys department store are to come face-to-face with its former workers for the first time.

An Bord Pleanála has scheduled an oral hearing later this month into the planned redevelopment of the iconic site.

A large number of the 467 workers who lost their jobs when Clerys closed in 2015 will attend as witnesses called by Siptu, the only party to appeal Dublin City Council's decision to give the project the go-ahead.

The project is led by Deirdre Foley's OCS Properties.

Ms Foley found herself at the centre of controversy in June 2015 over the abrupt closure of the store.

The planning board has decided to stage a four-day oral hearing at its Dublin HQ from March 20.

It followed a request from Siptu and came in spite of protests from consultants for OCS Properties, John Spain & Associates, that staging an oral hearing may delay the project.

Mr Spain argued the plan "will play a vital role in the regeneration of O'Connell Street and the north inner city" and that the Siptu appeal "largely misses this point and ignores the reality of the situation in which the Clerys building finds itself".

Mr Spain's submission said the new plan would result in the creation of 1,450 jobs - pointing out that the numbers employed by OCS at Clerys declined from 280 in 2009 to 130 in 2015.

He said it "would revive and enhance the social and cultural importance of the Clerys site and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area".

Irish Independent

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