There are fresh strike fears for rail commuters as talks between Irish Rail bosses and trade unions representing drivers collapsed at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).
Trade unions Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) confirmed last night that the discussions regarding productivity at the company had collapsed.
Both unions had previously warned that industrial action was a possibility if progress was not made in the area of pay and working conditions.
The NBRU said the talks broke down as "the company was not willing to engage on the past productivity element" from a 2014 LRC agreement.
Train drivers claim they are facing demands for increased productivity, despite suffering pay cuts.
Dermot O'Leary, general secretary of the NBRU, said it is "disappointing to think that the company is reneging on this vital component of the document".
He confirmed that the threat of industrial action has become "more real".
Sources previously said that they were prepared to strike at morning rush hour, which would cause maximum disruption for rail commuters.
A meeting of the joint Loco Drivers Committee will be convened next week to decide their next move.
Mr O'Leary said the collapse of the talks on their first day now makes the "prospect of industrial action ever more real".