Staff barricade bakery in dispute with Revenue

More than 20 staff at a Donegal bakery barricaded themselves into the building last night after a stand-off with officials from the Revenue Commissioners.

Staff at Highland Bakery refused entry to the tax sheriff and his staff when they arrived at the premises with a recovery truck and an order to take machinery from the factory at Killyclug, Letterkenny.

Instead, staff locked the doors, pulled down shutters and barricaded themselves into the building.

Bakery owner Kevin Bradley said he is trying his best to keep the company afloat. The bakery employs 28 full-time baking staff as well as 15 delivery agents.

“I know I owe them money,” said Mr Bradley. That is no secret, but I am trying my best. I am trying to keep these people in jobs.

“I do not want to walk away form this. Some of these people have been with me for 12 years. I would appeal to the Revenue to allow me more grace and to try and get things sorted.”

Gardaí arrived at the scene but left, saying it was a civil matter.

Mr Bradley, who is currently in hospital, said he had 48 employees up to last year but had to let staff go.

“You show me business people who aren’t finding things tight,” he said. “The funny thing is that we are trading well at the moment but we need time to get out of this.”

One woman inside the bakery said she did not know what she would do if the company closed.

Two Revenue staff members sat in a car outside the factory but declined to comment. A recovery truck parked nearby had also been brought onto the site by staff acting on Revenue’s behalf.

An official from the Revenue Commissioner’s office said they did not comment on individual cases.


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