All efforts must be made to salvage Debenhams operation in Ireland

29 April 2020
  • Key questions for Debenham’s owners, leaseholders and liquidators to answer 

  • Loss of any of 955 jobs will be devastating for the Debenhams workers

Tomorrow Thursday April 30th, the liquidators of Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited are due to go to the High Court to apply for the full appointment of liquidators to the company. 

Speaking in advance of this Court hearing, Labour Senator Marie Sherlock called on the liquidators and owners of Debenhams Retail Ireland limited to make every effort to salvage as much as is possible from the Debenhams operation.  

Senator Sherlock said:

“The complete closure of the Debenhams operation in Ireland and the proposed loss of 955 jobs must not be a foregone conclusion.”

“The liquidators of Debenhams must deal with each of the stores on a case by case basis; singling out those that have been consistently generating positive earnings and making every effort to renegotiate rents.” 

“At least six of the premises are still owned by companies controlled by members of the Roche family- Roches sold its retail operation to Debenhams back in 2006. It is now incumbent on its role as landlord to agree some rearrangement of the lease. 

“The loss of any of 955 jobs will be devastating for the Debenhams workers, some of whom came from the original Roches Stores and have many years’ service. But it will be even more galling, given the scale of the company’s debts, if these workers have to rely on the State’s insolvency fund for the statutory redundancy payment. 

“This would be truly an appalling situation and must not be allowed happen, given that the ultimate parent company Celine Jersey TopCo Limited is a group of venture capitalists registered in Jersey and co-owned by none other than the Bank of Ireland. 

“Already we have seen the liquidation of major UK retail operations in recent weeks only for the assets to be bought back by the owners and for the business to start back up. This phoenix like resurrection must not be the fate of Debenhams in Ireland with devastating consequences for those workers who are left with no redundancy package from all their years of service.”

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