The treatment of the Clery’s staff is a dramatic illustration of the rot that lies at the heart of Irish society.

The workers are the victims of successive government policies of pampering the Irish rich by stoking up a new property bubble.

The main figure behind the purchase of Clery’s is Deirdre Foley and her company D2. Over the years, she received loans from Anglo-Irish Bank for property speculation. Seannie Fitzpatrick even invested in her company!

But when the crash came, she quickly formed a close relationship with NAMA. When she spoke at a conference of the London Irish Business Society on ‘opportunities in the Irish property market’ she was described as someone who ‘worked closely with NAMA’ and could structure property acquisitions with ‘stable NAMA finance’. Coincidently, one of her team at D2, Alison Rohan – daughter of Ken Rohan – went on to become a NAMA ‘expert’ on property disposal.

The FG-Labour government’s policy has been to encourage quick sales by NAMA and to do so, they stoked up the property market. They introduced tax breaks, for example, for Real Estate Investment Trusts – effectively vulture funds – to buy up Irish property.

As a result, according to the Financial Times, Dublin has become the world’s leading city for giving the best return to property speculators.

One of the beneficiaries is none other than Deirdre Foley. She sees Clery’s as just another huge opportunity for commercial property. She has little concern for the welfare of workers – and is dazzled by opportunity for profit.


The manner in which the Clery’s workers were thrown out of their own workplace was despicable - KPMG, the liquidators deliberately arranged it so that their sackings took place late on Friday evening. They were terrified of a workers occupation.

(The KPMG company are the same sharks that the FG-Labour government proposed as investigators for the Siteserv deal – even though they were involved in its original sale to Denis O’Brien! KPMG's Kieran Wallace was originally appointed to review the sale of Siteserv. He, along with Eamonn Richardson, also of KPMG, is now acting as a liquidator of Clery's.)

KPMG’s fear of a workers occupation shows what needs to be done.

Workers should regain control of the building they worked in for decades and stage a workers’ occupation. They should do whatever it takes to gain entry – and then stage a massive public campaign to save their jobs.

It’s the only way not be turned into another victim of the property speculators.

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