Planned industrial action by psychiatric nurses has been suspended at the last minute.
Some 6,000 nurses had been due to resume an overtime ban after talks between the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) and the HSE broke down on Monday evening.
The dispute over the recruitment and retention of mental health staff has been ongoing for over five months, with staff shortages at over 20% in the speciality.
There are 700 vacancies in mental health services nationally as qualified nurses continue to move abroad or into the private sector.
Only hours before the industrial action was due to begin at 7pm this evening, the PNA confirmed the action has been called off.
The union said: "PNA has accepted an urgent referral to the Labour Court at the request of the WRC.
"There has been extensive contact between the PNA and the WRC in the past 24 hours during which some issues have been resolved with further outstanding issues to be referred to the Labour Court.
"More than 200 nursing posts have been approved to alleviate the reliance on overtime and agency staff throughout the mental health services."
The PNA had previously said the overtime ban would continue until the Government came forward with proposals to end the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector.
General Secretary Peter Hughes said Monday’s talks, “showed once again the lack of any urgency by the employer to agree detailed terms that would end this dispute.”
“Our members are resolute that our mental health services cannot continue under a cloud of constant staff shortages which are impacting at all levels of the services,” he said.
“With 700 current vacancies and a haemorrhage of staff to better paid posts in the private sector and abroad, the crisis in recruitment and retention of psychiatric nurses is growing by the week and cannot be allowed to continue.”
The HSE, meanwhile, had warned the action would have a “very significant impact on vulnerable patients” across the country.
Spokesperson David Walsh said some services would be cancelled due to the ban.
The HSE had also called on the PNA to “return to negotiations as soon as possible.”