Nurses ballot for strike action
The embattled health service is facing the threat of strike action by nurses over pay.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation will ballot for industrial action because of a claimed failure by the Government to address recruitment and retention of nurses.
If the strike goes ahead, nurses would take the picket line and only provide emergency cover.
In recent weeks, the union voted by 94pc to reject new pay proposals.
It is seeking a pay rise for all of its grades. The nurses want pay rises of up to 12pc.
Direct talks between the union and health officials will take place later this week.
The union said: "This is about safety. The HSE simply cannot hire enough nurses and midwives on these wages.
"Patients are suffering the consequences as our wards and services go understaffed.
"Nurses and midwives do not want a strike; they want a solution."