Latest: Ryanair's Michael O'Leary thinks Shane Ross 'has played a blinder' in Bus Éireann dispute

Update - 1.10pm: Transport Minister Shane Ross "has played a blinder" in the Bus Éireann dispute, according to Michael O'Leary.

The Ryanair boss has been giving his opinion on the ongoing transport strike.

Despite calls for Minister Ross to intervene, he has repeatedly refused to do, and the Ryanair CEO says that is exactly what a Minister should be doing.

Mr O'Leary said: "Firstly I think he has played a blinder on the bus issue, because he has stayed out of it and the Minister should stay out of those issues.

"Where you have public sector unions running around trying to suck Ministers and politicians into disputes - Bertie was a great man for opening the chequebook and buying off the unions over many years - you have to stay out of it.

"Let the management of Bus Éireann manage it."

Earlier: People Before Profit say the Bus Éireann strike is like 'a miners' strike for Ireland'.

The party is inviting striking bus workers to address its annual conference at Wynn's Hotel in Dublin this lunchtime, to make their case.

Deputy Brid Smith says they can understand, and even applaud, the wildcat action that brought Dublin commuters to their knees on Friday, when the dispute spread without warning to Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services, disrupting tens of thousands of people.

Ms Smith said: "It's like the miners's trike was important for Britain, this is important for us.

"We welcome the fact that the strike has escalated and people feel empowered enough to say 'we are going to close down the capital, because you are not listeneing to us'.

"And really they weren't listening until Friday until they hit the capital, they didn't care about the fact that Cork, Waterford, Galway, Limerick and all of the rural towns were without their proper bus service."

The party says the Transport Minister Shane Ross is at the centre of a perfect storm of his own making over the dispute.

Ms Smith said the Minister is still in denial.

She said: "He has really said 'nothing to do with me', and he has made a fool of himself because everybody is looking and saying he is the Minister for Transport.

"You have a national transport strike that is escalating out of proportion and he is just stepping away from it. It beggars belief.

"He gets paid a big salary not to do his job while he criticises others who are striking to try and save theirs and save their terms and conditions and their pay."


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