Irish grocer Dunnes has refused to end months of speculation over whether the company is in takeover talks with a large multiple.

In an interview with Irish paper the Sunday Independent, Michael Heffernan, a third-generation heir to the Dunnes chain and board member, reportedly indicated that the company is not for sale.

"We're here and we're going to be here for the next whatever amount of years," Heffernan told the paper.

When pressed on whether Dunnes planned to remain a player in the Irish grocery market, Heffernan replied: "I do anyway."

However, the company has refused to lay speculation over its future to rest. When contacted by just-food, Dunnes refused to comment on Heffernan's statement.

Mandate, the union representing Dunnes workers, has been highly critical of the company's silence on the issue.

According to the union, the possibility that Dunnes could be sold is cause for concern not only for Dunnes employees but also the company's suppliers and customers.

"It is time for the company to clarify its position," a union spokesperson told just-food.