The joint liquidators of Debenhams Irish operation KPMG have undertaken not to attempt to remove stock from any of the stores for a week to allow engagement aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over redundancy payments.

The move follows the appointment of Labour Court chairman Kevin Foley as a mediator in the dispute.

In a statement this evening, Mr Foley confirmed that he is engaging with all stakeholders, and has asked the parties to do all that they can to create an environment conducive to constructive engagement in the process initiated at the request of An Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.

Mr Foley said: "In response, the joint liquidators have undertaken that they will not attempt to remove stock from the premises for a seven day period from Friday 27 November at midnight to Friday 4 December at midnight."

The unions have confirmed to the mediator that they accept the liquidators' undertaking. 

He said: "In light of that undertaking the Trade Unions are exploring the possibility of scaling back and in some stores temporarily ceasing picketing for those seven days."

He concluded: "It is fully expected by all parties who are involved in the process currently under way that no other party will take it upon themselves to attempt to remove any stock from any store during the seven day period."