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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

"The most patient group of public servants ever known to mankind"

Strike action is set to take place on 15 December.

Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated 17.55

IRISH EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT nurses have voted to take industrial action including a strike starting on 15 December.

This follows a ballot of members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

The action is being taken in protest against chronic overcrowding and a lack of resources.

Earlier today 92% of nurses backed the strike action, with 76% turning out to vote.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One earlier today, the INMO’s General Secretary Liam Doran described the striking nurses as “the most patient group of public servants ever known to mankind”.

This came in response to comment from the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who said earlier today that almost 200 extra beds would be coming available by the end of the month and that the decision to take strike action was “disappointing”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke programme, the INMO’s director of industrial relations Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the strike action was being taken by nurses in protest against “the constant overcrowding and health and safety issues that it poses to them”.

Under a framework agreed between the INMO and other interested parties, a period of three weeks was required to be given on any strike action.

The country’s 25 hospitals with emergency departments will be impacted by this and will see rolling work stoppages that will last between two to three hours.

A number of voluntary hospitals will also be impacted by the action.

A meeting is now set to take place between the HSE, voluntary hospitals, and the INMO in the next 48 hours to discuss further details – where it will be advised that the hospitals should be put off call when the action is ongoing.

The action has been coordinated to ensure that there will still be emergency cover around the country.

First published 11.40am 

Read: IFA pay scandal: President steps back as review of top salaries begins

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