Minister of State for Business and Employment has told the new owners of Clerys that the Government is deeply concerned about how the workers and concession owners have been treated since the shop's operating company was put into liquidation last Friday.

Ged Nash makes his comments in a letter to Deirdre Foley and John Skelly of Natrium Ltd, sent this morning.

The minister says he is writing to request a meeting at the earliest opportunity to discuss the situation regarding the unexpected liquidation of the operating company OCS Operations.

He says he also wishes to discuss the subsequent redundancy of Clerys workers, and wants to know Natrium's plans for the future of the Clerys site.

He states: "As the Minister for Business and Employment with responsibility for industrial relations and employee rights, I am deeply concerned at how workers in Clerys, both the direct employees of OCS Operations and the concession holders and their employees, have been treated since the shock announcement of the closure of Clerys and its liquidation on Friday evening last".

He goes on to say that his concerns are shared by his colleagues across Government and that he has been asked by the Taoiseach to prepare a report on the matter for Cabinet.

He tells Ms Foley and Mr Skelly that a meeting would afford them an opportunity to engage with him as he prepares that report.

He also says he is anxious to hear their plans for the Clerys site, which he describes as an iconic landmark building in the heart of the city centre.

He continues: "Furthermore, I would like to learn of the employment prospects relating to your plans for Clerys and to explore the potential for re-employment for the Clerys workers.

"This may be some consolation to the staff who have been treated so coldly over the past few days."

Mr Nash concludes by urging Ms Foley and Mr Skelly to meet the workers themselves and their trade union representatives, as they have many questions and it would be the right thing to do.

It is understood the minister is still awaiting a response from Natrium.

Meanwhile, Clerys workers are to hold a protest outside the offices of Natrium in Dublin at midday tomorrow.

SIPTU said the workers wanted to highlight their demand for a meeting with the store's new owners to discuss the purchase and subsequent application to the courts to put the company into liquidation and the consequences of these actions.

The Department of Social Protection is continuing to expedite social welfare claims for the former Clerys employees, while concession-holders are removing their stock from the store.

Representatives of the concession holders met Mr Nash yesterday evening to discuss their concerns about €2m in cash takings which they say are due to them. 

Earlier, it emerged that the report into the liquidation of Clerys being undertaken for Minister Nash could take weeks, and will not be ready for next week's Cabinet meeting.

A spokesperson for the minister said the report would involve complex issues of company law and could take some time.

Earlier this week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that when the report is complete, it may be passed to the Company Law Review Group to consider any possible reforms that might be required.

There have been a number of calls from Opposition politicians and unions for reform of legislation to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.