Tuesday 28 March 2017

Workers condemn attack on office

The canteen
at the Quinn
offices in
Derrylin, Co
Fermanagh,
which was
rammed using
one of the
company's
own lorries
yesterday
The canteen at the Quinn offices in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, which was rammed using one of the company's own lorries yesterday
The lorry was later found burned out on a roadside
Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

WORKERS and local politicians have strongly condemned the latest vigilante act against the Quinn Group takeover after a vehicle was rammed into the conglomerate's canteen.

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening at Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, less than 24 hours before the Quinn Group confirmed its first redundancies since the takeover back in April.

Twelve staff at a quarry in Williamstown, Galway, were yesterday told they were losing their jobs because the economic downturn made their site unviable.

Both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and gardai are investigating Wednesday night's act, which began at around 6pm when vandals took a Quinn Group vehicle and drove it into the building.

A gaping hole was made in the wall, but there were no injuries as staff had already gone home. The vehicle was later found nearby, having been set alight.

The act marks the latest in a long line of protests against the way billionaire Sean Quinn lost control of his family empire to Anglo Irish Bank and other lenders.

Just days after the April takeover, a digger blocked off the main entrance to the Quinn Group's Derrylin headquarters just opposite the canteen. It was later moved following an intervention by Mr Quinn.

Other acts saw power lines to factories cut and windfarms set on fire. Two cars were also set alight in front of the home of Quinn Group boss Paul O'Brien, prompting Mr Quinn to call for an end to the acts.

Locals last night joined those calls. "The people behind this do not represent those who work here, this does not help us save jobs," one worker said.

John Maguire, of Concerned Irish Business Group, said the destruction would help nobody. "It is time for reflection, cool heads and common sense to prevail on all sides," he said.

"Physical damage to property or anything else won't solve this." (Additional reporting PA)

Irish Independent

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