Hospitals across the country are facing major disruption after talks to avert a strike by over 40,000 nurses ended without agreement last night.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) was locked in three days of talks with the HSE at the Workplace Relations Commission to try and avert the threatened action, which begins on Wednesday.
The strike will see INMO members withdraw their labour for 24 hours, providing only lifesaving care and emergency response teams.
It is the first of six 24 hour nationwide work stoppages and potentially the largest health-service strike in the country's history.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Ireland’s nurses and midwives are asking simple questions. Where is the Taoiseach? Where is the Minister for Finance? There is a vacuum of political leadership.
“The largest strike in the health service’s history looms and our political leaders are nowhere to be seen.
“With a heavy heart, strike preparations continue.
"As ever, we are available to talk any time, but we are still waiting for the government to make realistic proposals to avert this strike.”