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VIDEO: The devastating aftermath of the Waterford Crystal factory closure

Four former workers at the plant are trying to highlight the issues they have been dealing with over the last five years – mainly the fact that they still haven’t been given a pension.


(Video: Jenna Keane/YouTube)

FOUR FORMER WORKERS at the Waterford Crystal factory, which closed its doors five years ago, have put themselves forward for a video project called ‘The Aftermath of Waterford Crystal’ to highlight the impact of the company’s departure from the area.

Director of the project, Jenna Keane said the aim is to show people the despair and depression many people are facing after ‘the loss of their purpose’.

“It’s not a pessimistic or bitter approach, it does not aim to blame or attack,” she said.

The factory closed down five years ago, leaving over 1,500 workers without jobs or pension payments. Keane said some have passed away in the last few years but some are “fighting for their pensions, fighting for their stability, fighting for their justice”. Last year the European Court of Justice ruled that the Irish state is obliged to step in and pay the pensions of some of these workers whose pension funds became insolvent.

However Keane said they “have still to receive anything from the Irish government”.

The video features footage and images of the four workers surveying what’s left of the factory. It also describes the issues the former workers at the plant have been dealing with since it closed.

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Keane said it was tough working on something that is” a very sensitive issue for the men”.

I worried that it would be difficult for them. Bringing up the past is never easy, especially when it is part of their present and for some their future. People tell them to let it go, how can they? It’s very much like a death. A death of a life, a purpose, a place.

Commenting on the video, Local Waterford Councillor, Sean Reinhardt said: “Brought back some memories. I saw some of my own work lying on the ground, very moving”.

The video is just the beginning of a project by the photographer and director. She said she is now also working on a piece for print that focuses on the mental health aspect of the story.

Read: 79 per cent increase in number of complaints to pensions ombudsman>

Read: EU’s top court says Ireland must pay Waterford Crystal pensions>

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