Over 100 family members and friends of the former Vta Cortex workers gathered in the factory canteen this morning to mark 100 days of their sit in protest at the plant.

A mass was celebrated by Ballyphehane parish priest Fr Michael Murphy. Among those also attending was the Bishop of Cork Dr John Buckley.

Speaking beforehand, Henry O’Reilly, who worked with the company for 40 years and who is undergoing treatment for cancer, said he never believed the protest would go on so long but he and the other 31 former workers are adamant it will continue.

Yesterday the workers accepted an invitation to mediation talks from the Labour Relations Commission.

Last night, the owner of Vita Cortex Jack Ronan agreed to engage with the LRC "to see how the proposed mediation process might work".

However, two earlier attempts by the LRC to resolve the dispute, failed.

The 32 former workers are seeking 0.9 weeks' pay per year of service, which they say was agreed with the company and given to other employees who left in 2009 and 2010.

Meanwhile, workers at the Lagan Brick manufacturing plant in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, have marked the 100th day of their dispute with management at the company.

SIPTU says workers were informed it was closing only hours before it ceased operation on Friday, 15 December.

Since then 25 SIPTU members have been in dispute with management over their failure to pay established redundancy terms.