Talks aimed at averting next week's planned nurses strike adjourned for the night

Seven hospitals will be affected if the INMO's strike goes ahead on Thursday

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Updated 18.35:

Talks between nurses and the HSE at the Work Place Commission have adjourned for the night.

The negotiations are being held today aimed at averting a major nurses strike at seven of the country's main hospitals.

Talks are due to resume in the morning.

Spokesperson Dave Hughes says discussions today were frank:

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) union says their members will hold rolling two-hour work stoppages in protest at overcrowding.

If the action goes ahead seven hospitals will be affected this coming Thursday, January 14th - Beaumont, Cavan, Mercy Hospital Cork, Galway, Tallaght, Tullamore and Waterford.

The HSE and the INMO are both attending the discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission today.

The dispute centres on conditions in emergency departments and the high number of patients waiting on trolleys.

Sinn Féin's Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald says that nurses have no other option at this stage but to "call time on what is a very, very dangerous situation for staff and indeed for patients":

Earlier this week the general-secretary of the INMO, Liam Doran, said he does not know if the strike can be avoided.

However, he added that conditions in emergency departments this weekend will play a part in the final decision.

"This weekend and early next week will be very telling - the experience of our people on the ground I think will be very significant," he said.