• 37 thousand nurses have taken to the picket line for the third day today - in a row over pay and conditions, including over 100 at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.

    A further 25 thousand medical appointments are cancelled and the HSE says it's getting harder to reschedule as the industrial action continues.

    The Government shows no sign of budging in the dispute.

    Both sides last met 10 days ago in the Labour Court, but it decided they were too far apart to intervene.

  • 38 retired Mayo nurses on a return flight to Dublin, which was supposed to take off at 15:15 yesterday, are now on a ten hour journey to Munich airport from Krakow.

    The group has had to make arrangements with their travel company and pay for accommodation transportation and an additional flight to get home.

    Last night they were ferried between airports in Poland before being told that there would be no flight provided for them until next Thursday.

    Ryanair says it's offered refunds or a switch to the next available flight, with some passengers saying they were told it would be late as next Thursday.

    Kathleen Clarke is one of the nurses who are currently en route to Munich airport making the long journey home.

  • There are 60 patients on trolleys today at University Hospital Galway which is the second highest in the country.

    That’s according to the latest trolley watch from the INMO which shows there are 531 waiting for admission to a bed nationally.

    Meanwhile, there are 31 patients on trolleys at Sligo University Hospital, twelve at Mayo University Hospital and nine patients on trolleys at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

  • Efforts to avert a strike by the country's nurses have ended without a resolution.

    Talks took place earlier between The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the Psychiatric Nurses Association and the HSE, to try and reach agreement on issues surrounding pay and conditions.

    The unions say they weren't presented with concrete proposals and the strike action goes ahead.

    Another meeting between the sides is planned for next Monday.

    The INMO will hold the first of six nationwide 24-hour strikes on January 30th, while the PNA is planning a three day stoppage from February 12th.

  • Government officials and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation return to the Labour Court this morning to try and resolve the nurses dispute.

    A formal hearing will take place, with the court likely to take several days to come back with a decision. 

    Last month it issued a recommendation aimed at ending strike action, which resulted in thousands of patients being disrupted by three days of industrial action.

    However nursing unions are unhappy with the productivity reforms in the planned new nursing contract, calling them "onerous" and "unreasonable".

  • Despite a promise by Minister Simon Harris that all graduating nurses would be offered a 12 month contract on graduation in an attempt to address the shortage of nurses in our hospitals, that is not happening for nurses graduating from Mayo and Galway hospitals in a few weeks time.

    Minister Harris made the promise, after nurses nationally had taken strike action last year, and among the issues they highlighted was the problem of retention of nurses in hospitals and the volume of young graduating nurses that were emigrating.

    However, the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District ,Independent cllr Michael Kilcoyne says he has become aware that while in Dublin and Cork hospitals the Minister’s promise is being honoured , at present in Mayo and Galway hospitals, students who will graduate in a few weeks time, having finished their placements in the hospitals, have been interviewed and put on panels, but the majority of them have not been offered a twelve month contract.

    The Cathaoirleach says the situation is completely unacceptable and has accused Minister Harris of, again, failing to deliver on commitments.

    Midwest News has sought clarification from the Saolta Hospital group on the situation and we are awaiting a response.

  • The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has criticised the Finance Minister for communicating over the airwaves - rather than meeting them in person.

    The body's responded to Paschal Donohoe, who expressed his disappointment with its decision to ballot for industrial action.

    The INMO has highlighted concerns about understaffing and safety in the health service and wants a 12 per cent pay rise for nurses, which is expected to cost 300 million euro.

    However, the group insists that figure is being exaggerated  by the Department of Finance.

    It says it remains open to meeting Paschal Donohoe.


    The INMO executive has recommended accepting the Labour court deal in the nurses row.

    A 3 day strike, due to take place this week, was suspended after the Labour Court intervened in the dispute over pay and conditions on Monday.

    The Nurses and Midwives Organisation will hold a series of briefings acorss the country in the next few weeks with a ballot taking place between the 11th and 25th of March.





    The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will meet today to discuss its plans for a series of 24 hour strikes.

    95 per cent of nurses and midwives voted for industrial action last month in a row over staff shortages and pay.

    If a national strike goes ahead, it would see INMO members providing only lifesaving and emergency care.

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said a pay rise for nurses would be "unaffordable and unsustainable".

    Professor of Employment Law at Maynooth University, Michael Doherty, says it's difficult to see how the strikes can be avoided.




    1,317 funded nursing and midwifery posts are left vacant in Ireland's acute hospitals due to the HSE's recruitment ban.

    The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says midwifery vacancies "disproportionately affect women."

    INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha says it's time for the recruitment ban to go.

    She is also warning that patients are being put at risk due to the block in certain positions.

  • Ireland's nurses and midwives are warning that Ireland will lose more young nurses to British hospitals after Brexit. 

    A survey of student nurses this summer shows 7 in 10 have already been offered jobs overseas. 

    INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha says migration controls across the EU will make Irish trained nurses a prime-target for British recruiters.

  • It’s important that every effort is made to retain nurses in our hospitals, that’s the view of Headford based Fianna Fail Councillor Mary Hoade, a member of the HSE West Forum.

    At a recent meeting of the forum the councillor submitted a question on the number of new nurses hired at University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park Hospital in the past twelve months.

    In response Ann Cosgrave Chief Operating Officer at Saolta University Health Care Group confirmed that the total number of nurses hired in the last year at both hospitals was 153, including all nursing grades. In addition there were 84 Student General Nursing (pre-reg) hired.

    Councillor Hoade told Midwest News that it is vital to retain and recruit nurses in order to provide the services required at both hospitals

  • Nearly 8,000 admitted patients were forced to wait on trolleys and chairs in our hospitals during September.

    The figures released today by the INMO showed that 7,765 admitted patients were treated without hospital beds last month.

    University Hospital Galway was among the worst affected hospitals with 609 patients on trolleys for the month of September.

    INMO Industrial Relations Officer for the Western Region Anne Burke says nearly 8,000 people on trolleys should be regarded as a national crisis.

    She says their members are telling them they can’t go on with this number of unfilled vacancies and it’s not safe for patients or staff.

  • A ballot over strike action is underway among nurses and midwives in a dispute about understaffing and safety in the health service.

    The INMO says low pay is making it impossible to recruit and retain staff, which is risking patient safety, limiting hospital capacity, and contributing to overcrowding.

     Voting will take place in offices, hospitals and workplaces across Ireland until December 13th.

    If the vote is passed, nurses and midwives will stop work for 24 hours.

    Meanwhile, there are 386 patients on hospital trolleys around the country today - including 32 at University Hospital Galway, 21 at Sligo University Hospital and 11 at Mayo University Hospital.




  • Nurses and midwives are gathering in protest at hospitals across the country, demanding the HSE make plans for the expected winter increase in patients.

    INMO figures show that August was the worst on record for overcrowding, with hundreds of vacant nursing posts in emergency departments and wards across Ireland.

    The INMO revealed last week that the HSE still does not have a plan to recruit extra staff or reduce services to cope with the demand.

    Nurses and midwives are protesting this lunchtime at the Main Entrance of University Hospital Galway.

  • Nurses and midwives are threatening more strikes.

    The INMO Executive Council is meeting tomorrow to discuss further industrial action on top of the five days already announced.

    37 thousand nurses staged their first 24 hour strike on Wednesday leading to thousands of appointments being cancelled.

    The union says the government hasn't made any "serious proposals" to avert more strikes and say they've been forced into this position.

  • Nurses at hospitals in Cork, Galway and Limerick are to hold lunchtime protests this week.

    It's in response to problems of staff shortages and overcrowding at emergency departments facing many hospitals around the country.

    It follows a meeting between the Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation and the HSE yesterday.

    In the meeting, the health service revealed they had no emergency department plan for the coming winter while

    Other issues surrounding filling positions for those on maternity leave were also highlighted.


  • Today's national nurses rally is going ahead this afternoon - despite nine hours of talks yesterday at the Labour Court.

    Those discussions will resume again this afternoon at half three, but for now, the INMO says the rally goes ahead and so does next week's planned strike.

  • Nurses have been thanking the public for their support on the picket lines last Wednesday.

    INMO members say they were overwhelmed with offers of hot drinks and food from local shops and pubs and cafes, donuts from prison officers and supplies from firefighters.

    They also have huge public support online - ahead a meeting of the union's executive later today, during which decisions will be made about what happens next.

    The INMO's Director of Regulation and Social Policy, Edward Matthews, says going on strike isn't an easy decision, but it can be avoided if the Government supports its nurses:

  • The Psychiatric Nurses' Association will attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission on Monday.

    It's after the union suspended strike action that was due to start next week, in their ongoing recruitment and retention dispute.

    The Psychiatric Nurses Association planned 3 days of industrial action on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

    However, following an intervention from the Labour Court during yesterday's talks, the PNA's decided to suspend the strikes.

    The Court suggested the parties meet again for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission to try and sort out any outstanding issues, in the dispute over recruitment and retention.

    Both sides have now agreed to attend discussions at the WRC on Monday, ahead of returning to the Labour Court on Wednesday.