Ireland: Modern Day ‘Slavery’ Case Gets the Green Light


Clearance by Irelands Court of Appeal on Friday (31/07/15) for a number of Turkish migrant workers, brought to Ireland in 2000 to work on infrastructure projects and the construction of motorways, could if successful prove that ‘bond work’ or ‘slavery’ is not just a facet of life in the third world.

Following the Court decision the solicitor acting for the 491 workers, Donal Taffe, said:

“The significance of [this] verdict is that anyone arriving in Ireland with a cohort of slaves and bent on treating them badly is going to have to face justice in the Irish courts,”

The firm now facing the claim for over 40 million Euro in monies owed is Gama Endüstri Tesisleri Imalat Montaj AS (Gama Turkey) and Gama Construction Ireland Ltd

Mr Taffe contrasted the conditions the men faced with the way Irish workers overseas had been treated for generations telling reporters after the Court decision;

“These Turkish workers are the absolute salt of the earth. They left their homes and wives and children behind, like so many thousands of Irish people have had to do for hundreds of years, to come to our country and work on our motorways; our motorways paid for by our people,

“When they arrived they had their passports taken from them by Gama, they had to work 80-hour weeks including working outdoors in the rain, they had their wages stolen from them by their employer, and when they objected Gama tried to starve them into submission.”

The case will be an interesting one in that should the workers be successful Irish government compliance with International Labour Law conventions may also come under scrutiny

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League



The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues


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