Former 'famine' hostel workers win 18-month redundancy claim fight
Published 15/11/2011 | 05:00
A GROUP of workers who have been unemployed since funding was withdrawn on a project to transform a famine-era workhouse into a hostel last year have won their redundancy claim.
Work was stopped on the Tipperary Hostel in May, 2010, after funding body Pobal suspended project grants amid controversy over invoices.
A garda probe is ongoing into how up to €60,000 of taxpayers' money was claimed by Tipperary Hostel Ltd.
And now the 22 workers are finally to be paid their redundancy.
Yesterday, Tipperary Hostel Ltd gave an undertaking before the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) that they would apply to the Social Insurance Fund "as soon as possible" for redundancy payments for workers.
William Fry Solicitors, representing FAS, argued that the former workers were trying to "cash-in" by claiming redundancies when they were offered alternative jobs. The workers rejected this claim.
Speaking afterwards, Michael O'Dwyer, a painter who was on the training scheme for 10 years, said: "This scheme was badly wanted for a black spot like Tipp town. It took 22 good workers off the dole that would be otherwise long-term unemployed."
Ian Dawson, who is married with three children, said his family was trying to survive on €232 dole a week since he was laid off.
"It's near impossible," Mr Dawson added.