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Saturday 20 September 2014

Rail tickets back on sale for GAA fans after strike action averted

Bitter dispute ends with new set of proposals

Louise Kelly and Sarah Stack

Published 03/09/2014 | 06:37

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These new proposals will still have to be put to a ballot of union members
These new proposals will still have to be put to a ballot of union members

Thousands of rail tickets will go on sale this morning for GAA fans travelling to this weekend's All-Ireland hurling final.

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The bitter Irish Rail dispute came to an end late last night as negotiations between the unions and the company were successful.

24/08/2014. First day of Irish Rail strike. Pictured Heuston Station remains mostly empty as (NotPictured) members of the National Bus And Rail Union (NBRU) stand outside Heuston Station on their first day of Irish Rail strike. Thousands of rail travellers face disruption today and tomorrow due to a strike at Iarnrod Eireann. No rail services apart from the Luas in Dublin will run - due to a two - day stoppage in a row over pay cuts. There are further strikes planned for the 7th and 21st September. Photo: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
An empty Heuston Station in Dublin, during the Irish Rail strike.

Irish Rail said it had blocked ticket sales for this weekend, when a third day of strike action was due to be held.

Up to 5,000 rail tickets are expected to be available from mid-morning for Kilkenny and Tipperary fans travelling to Croke Park for the match, it added.

Both SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union agreed a new set of proposals at the Labour Relations Commission.

As part of the deal proposed pay cuts have been put on hold for three weeks until union members vote on the new measures.

Fresh hopes for end to rail strike action as negotiations continue in bitter dispute

Representatives of the debt-laden Irish Rail resumed discussions with union representatives in the LRC yesterday until 130am this morning.

It is understand that the proposals help protect the interests of both customers and staff.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe welcomed the breakthrough.

"The fact that agreement has been reached by unions and management, which will allow the planned strike action to be averted, is most welcome," he said.

"All parties to the dispute are aware of the financial predicament  of the company and this agreement is an essential element in addressing the challenges the company face."

Fears of all out rail strike after second day of stoppages  

The strike action was expected to take place this Sunday and Monday, a move that would have caused chaos for the 80,000 GAA fans set to descend upon the capital for the All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Irish Rail has said that full services will now operate on those dates.

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