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Clerys’ former CEO PJ Timmins agrees that workers’ treatment was ‘grossly insensitive and appalling’

Dublin, 3 June 2016 – Speaking at the annual conference in Dublin of ICSA: The Governance Institute on 24 May, former Clerys plc’s chief executive PJ Timmins agreed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s description of Clerys’ treatment of workers as ‘grossly insensitive and appalling’ and questioned the morality of separating assets and liabilities. While legally right, what took place at the former jewel in Ireland’s department store crown was morally and ethically wrong according to Mr Timmins.

“Trade is built on trust and you cannot legislate for reputation,” says Mr Timmins, now Managing Director of The Alternative Board, addressing a packed gathering of corporate governance professionals at the Ballsbridge Hotel.

Speaking about Nessa Cahill and Kevin Duffy’s report focussing on the protection of employee interests when assets are separated from the operating entity, Mr Timmins said that this raises questions about what happens to creditors. He also queried whether a company that is insolvent and negotiating to survive would have the capacity to enter into consultation with employees.

Highlighting the importance of good corporate governance to Irish business in general, Mr Timmins said that performance management and culture management require a closer look if corporate governance is to flourish.

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For further information, please contact

Conor Ryan, Chair of ICSA Ireland
+353 (0)1 6695215


Caroline Lafferty, ICSA
+353 83 1306924

Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
    Website: www.icsa.org.uk
  2. ICSA Ireland is the representative body of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Region is governed by its own Council and sub-committees representing all areas of business in which the members work. ICSA Ireland has approximately 600 members and 200 students with many of its members working in the corporate and professional services sectors. 

    Through its Council and sub-committees it provides a range of services to members and students, including the organisation of educational and social events. Council also makes representations and submissions to Government Departments and Governance Forums on behalf of the ICSA members.
    Website: www.icsacharteredsecretaries.ie