'Robust' talks lead to hope over bus strikes
There are fresh hopes that talks to halt the pending bus strike may reach a breakthrough, after "open and robust" talks.
The clock was ticking down to the two-day strike, due to get under way on Friday, as key parties gathered at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).
Discussions took place behind closed doors between Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, and trade unions Siptu and National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU). Delegates from the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Department of Transport also attended the LRC.
A senior source indicated that the talks, scheduled to continue today, were dominated by the unions, the NTA and the department.
It is understood the discussions were "frank, open and robust". It has been indicated by senior sources that it is hoped the decision by the LRC to adjourn the talks until 1.30pm will see the commission returning after "putting something together" to help reach a deal.
These intense talks are aimed towards averting commuter chaos this weekend.
The long-running dispute centres on plans to put 10pc of routes up for private tender to comply with an EU directive.