Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler says the closure of the Debenhams store is a huge blow to workers and the retail sector in the city. She is encouraging workers to engage with her office to see what supports could be available to them.

Deputy Butler explained, “Debenhams workers have been through the mill over the past two years, with the threat of job losses constantly hanging over them. Today’s news is devastating for them, particularly given the current anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.

“The closure of the store also leaves a huge gap in the retail sector in the city, as it was the anchor tenant in City Square. Workers in the concession stores – Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, Oasis and Quiz- will also be affected. My thoughts are with all of the workers and their families at this difficult time.

“It is important that the company engages with the workers to outline what, if any, redundancy terms are being offered.

“I will be contacting the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to establish what options and supports are open to the Debenhams workers and I am also calling on the government to ensure that retraining and upskilling opportunities are made available to these workers, once the COVID-19 crisis restrictions are lifted.”