Sunday 20 October 2019

Peaceful conclusion to stand-off in Kilmuckridge

Cllr Mary Farrell speaking to Inspector Pat Cody at the scene.
Cllr Mary Farrell speaking to Inspector Pat Cody at the scene.
The scene at the Londis Supermarket in Kilmuckridge yesterday.

Fintan Lambe

A stand-off which developed at Corrigan's Londis in Kilmuckridge yesterday, Monday, has ended peacefully. The family has taken back the premises and trucks which were there to take away repossessed stock were allowed to leave.

Locals moved in to prevent the removal of the stock after the trucks arrived early on Monday. As the morning progressed, a crowd of more than 60 people gathered.

A security firm, acting for a Receiver, took possession of the store in the early hours of the previous Monday morning. Concerned staff and worried locals maintained a strong presence outside the store all week, culminating in a public protest on Sunday which was attended by hundreds of people.

Local councillor Mary Farrell, who acted as an intermediary between both sides in the dispute all week, said she was relieved the impasse on Monday was at an end. 'It ended peacefully,' she said. 'The family have taken possession of the shop again, and the trucks left empty.'

There was a large garda presence in the village during the stand off, to ensure there were no breaches of the peace.

The security firm left the premises just before 2 p.m. and the trucks and workers brought in to remove the stock, were allowed to leave the premises.

'I'm happy to see it resolved in the way it was resolved, but there will still need to be a resolution going forward,' said Cllr Farrell. 'At least the shop can reopen. The community has gone in to help staff prepare for the reopening.'

She said that clarity is needed as to who is within the law. 'The family can't live in fear that this will happen again,' she commented. 'Hopefully twenty-two staff will have their jobs back and won't be worrying about how to pay their mortgages.'

She said the Corrigan family and the local community were devastated at the situation. 'Both sides feel they are completely right in this,' she said.

The public protest on Sunday was addressed by several speakers. Commenting afterwards Cllr Johnny Mythen from Enniscorthy said that 'twenty-two staff, their families, the Corrigan family, the suppliers and the vital Meals on Wheels service' were 'all affected by this illegal commando-style takeover of a local village shop in the middle of the night.' His fellow party member, Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, described the sudden possession of the shop as 'shocking and unbelievable'.

Terry Conlan of Loch Garman Against Austerity, who was there on Sunday and Monday, said it was great to see so many people showing solidarity with those affected. He complimented An Garda Síochána for its co-operation with locals. 'There was no friction,' he said. 'It was very good natured. There was a peaceful outcome which is what everyone wanted. I'm sure it will now be sorted in the courts.'

Wexford People

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