Developers insist picket won’t delay apartment work

A DEVELOPMENT company gave assurances last night that unfinished apartments on a building sites picketed by workers will be completed.

Up to 16 construction workers, laid off by main sub-contractor Pat O’Brien Construction, from Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, mounted a picket outside the An Caisleain estate in Ballincollig after they were locked out earlier in the week.

The 52 apartments in the Frinailla-developed estate on which they were working are at the snag list stage.

Yesterday’s picket was the second to hit the site in two years. Workers with the Wexford construction company O’Connor Brothers — which had been contracted by Frinailla to develop the estate — also picketed the site when their employer went into liquidation in May 2004.

Pat O’Brien Construction took over the contract to complete the estate soon afterwards.

The workers yesterday claimed they were laid off because their employer was owed hundreds of thousands of euro by Frinailla.

But a spokesman for Frinailla strongly rejected the claim last night.

SIPTU also refused to back the workers’ action.

The Frinailla spokesman said the company had again been dragged into a dispute which was not of its making. He also gave assurances to people who have bought apartments in the development that they will be completed shortly.

“Frinailla has already agreed terms with some of the sub-contractors to ensure the apartments on site will be completed,” he said.

Sub-contractor Pat O’Brien Snr was unavailable for comment last night.

It is understood that his firm laid off up to seven construction workers the week before last.

In addition, 12 were laid off last week.

A spokesperson for the picketing workers said they were planning to meet this morning to decide whether or not their protest would continue next week.

Pat O’Brien Construction also has builders working on the McCarthy Development’s Jacob Island development in Mahon, Co Cork.

And it has workers on building sites in Youghal and in Cahir, Co Tipperary.

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