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Glass half full again as ruling 'makes life a bit easier'

THE glass cutter who made the shamrock-filled bowl handed to US President Barack Obama on St Patrick's Day has welcomed the European Court of Justice decision that the Government must protect the pensions of former Waterford Crystal workers.

Sean Egan, a glass-engraver with 34 years' experience in the company, said the ruling would "makes it a bit easier" for workers whose pensions have been hit.

And he criticised the Government for protecting former politicians' pensions while workers in Waterford lost out.

Mr Egan (54), who set up his own glass art business in Waterford, was commissioned to make the bowl handed to Mr Obama by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in March.

He told the Irish Independent: "I started in Waterford Crystal in 1974 and I did a 10-year apprenticeship as an engraver.

"Straight away money was taken out of our wages for our pensions. At that age you're saying, 'I'm a young man – what do I want a pension for' you know?

"And then as you get older you feel, 'I'm glad I have that kind of security'. I was 35 years there when it closed down and saying goodbye to the pension was just terrible, especially when you see the Government's pensions are all taken care of.

Irish Independent