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Eircom workers in €40m windfall

THOUSANDS of current and former Eircom staff will soon be unwrapping their share of a €40m Christmas windfall.

A trust set up for the workers 14 years ago when its predecessor, Telecom Eireann, was about to hit the stock market, is preparing to divvy up its final ever payment among the more than 14,000 former and current employees.

The final distribution to the trust's members will bring their total bonanza since 1998 to almost €900m -- all tax-free.

The final payment due in the post this December comes on top of an average €8,000 each they received from the trust during the summer, when €85m was divided among them.

The trust acquired nearly 15pc of Eircom in 1998 on behalf of employees before the company, then Telecom Eireann, floated on the stock exchange in 1999.

On average, each member of the trust has received up to €95,000 tax-free since it was set up, depending on when they joined.