Ryan Tubridy has slammed the “disrespectful” treatment of Clerys workers and adding that he’d like to be in charge or fixing “unloved” O’Connell Street.
The broadcaster said he was “taken aback” by events at Clerys which he said is “such an iconic shop in Dublin”.
“I don’t think you have to be from Dublin to get how big it is,” he added.
“Whatever about ‘I’ll meet you under the Clerys’ clock’ – I’ve never met anyone in my life under the Clerys’ clock – I think another generation did once.”
He continued to say it was horrendous how the workers found out their jobs were gone.
“There are people listening to us this morning who up until last Friday were working in Clerys, and they don’t want to be listening to us they want to be in work,” he said.
“I saw them on the news, they’re distraught and they’re shell-shocked.
“Could you imagine? Some of them found about the closure of the shop and the loss of their job on Facebook. Who does that?
“What people came in and did that? And treated them like.... treated them so disrespectfully?
“It’s not a nice story, it’s not a pretty story and hopefully there’s a happier ending to it than the one that appears to be going on there,” he said on his 2fm show yesterday.
Tubridy said Dublin’s main thoroughfare needs to be given new life in time for the 1916 centenary as “it looks unloved”.
“If I could be in charge of O’Connell Street for year I would be the O’Connell Street tsar. First of all I would get one of those power hoses. That’s what I’d love to do,” he said.
“I’d love to fix it, because it’s a beautiful street, and it’s an historic street. It’s our Champs-Elysee, but we treat it like a back alley somewhere which is terrible.
“It’s going to be the centrepiece of the most important celebration in this country’s history in little under a year’s time, but still it looks unloved and unappreciated too much.
“I know people are trying, but it just need an almighty clean-up and love,” he added.
Meanwhile, James Connolly Heron, the great-grand son of Easter Rising hero James Connolly, said the move was “very regrettable” as it is now feared the shop will be closed or will be undergoing construction work during next year’s centenary.
The store is widely believed to have been one of the first buildings to burn during the week of troubles and it is understood that Connolly placed a flag on top of the Imperial Hotel, which used to be located over the department store.
“We have always argued the centenary celebrations, commemorations, should be by way a two-fold process: one, conservation and the other commemorations,” Connolly Heron said.
“So the conservation side is not looking too good. It looks like they are not going to be open for the centenary which is very regrettable”.