SIPTU representatives have accused Bord na Móna of breaking the terms of the agreement entered into in relation the closure of Derrinlough Briquette factory and engaging in an act of industrial vandalism. SIPTU TEAC Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane said: “The decision by Bord na Móna to put the site up for sale without consultation with the unions is in contravention of the Joint Industrial relations Council (JIRC) decision which both sides had agreed to be bound by. “The Group of Unions is calling for an immediate halt of the sale of the site and that a feasibility study should be conducted with a view to converting the site into an Industrial Heritage Centre. Relevant bodies should be consulted, including the Midlands Regional Transition Team, Offaly Co. Council and local community groups. The unilateral decision to put the site up for sale is a poor reflection on the current management team in Bord na Móna who are showing little regard for the legacy of the thousands of workers who made the company. The sale of the site is akin to an act of industrial vandalism.” Architectural Conservationist Emma Gilleece, who has written about the architectural history of the factory said that although it is not on Offaly County Council’s list of Protected Structures, the factory is listed on the Offaly Survey for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage recognising its social significance.  “As the last surviving briquette factory in Ireland, efforts must be made to investigate the potential of repurposing the site as an educational centre on Ireland’s societal transition to a low-carbon economy. The selling-off and predictable demolition of the factory would not just erase the site, but also the social history of the workers and the communities that formed around Derrinlough. Bord na Móna have a duty of care, not just to their employees, but also to our shared industrial heritage.” Dr Patrick Bresnihan, a Geography Professor in Maynooth University, said: “The international experience shows that a meaningful just transition for the energy sector must not only account for loss of employment, but for the social and cultural value of industrial heritage and the built environment. Given that former workers are clearly attached to the briquette factory, and the opportunities that exist to transform the site into a community resource, it is a shock to hear that Bord na Móna wish to sell it.” Dr Jamie Rohu from the Department of Geography in Trinity College Dublin said: “The selling off the Derrinlough briquette factory will mean that the industrial heritage of workers in the Irish midlands will be further eroded. The opportunity to repurpose the plant in such a way as to respect the work done by multiple generations of workers will be lost. The selling off the factory is not aligned with international just transition best practice.”