So here we are on day twelve. We have been sitting around the office here the last few days watching the messages of support flood in on Facebook and have been truly touched and motivated to continue this fight. One of the most moving messages was from Marguerite O Flaherty whose father Tadgh Hassett was a well loved worker here in the 70s and 80s. He died while still employed here and Marguerite remembers fondly the support she and her siblings received from his colleagues and friends in Cortex after his death, including gifts on the first Christmas after his death. It struck me how like a family the workers were then, just like we are now. We have been to each others weddings, children’s weddings, christenings and events over the years. I remember the Cortex contingent spending the night on the dance floor with my family at my 50th birthday. The Cortex girls even presented me with a mug and a t-shirt with a picture of themselves on it as a gift! The relationships and care that the Cortex family have for each other has not changed over the years since Tadgh’s day. In fact retired/ former workers like Jim Kenneally, Eleanor Murphy, Eoin Newman, Tom Daly, Dan McSweeney and Marta Dennehy, to name but a few, come in daily to lend support, bring food (and old videos and photos in Jim’s case) and stand with us.
We sat here like a family for the last 12 days looking out for each other, we celebrated Christmas mass together with our extended families. Our partners, children and grandchildren have visited us every day and we had a family Christmas in the strangest of circumstances. When Amy and Chloe were born yesterday we rejoiced like a family, because that is what we are, a family. Even more importantly we are doing this for our extended families and that, along with the ongoing support from the public is what keeps us fighting.
Greg Marshall is one of 32 workers on the sit-in at the Vita Cortex Factory, Kinsale Rd, Cork.