Overnight Negotiations For Cork Hospital

Negotiations have continued overnight between management at the Health Service Executive and officials of the Irish Nurses Organisation, in an attempt to break the deadlock over the opening of Cork University Maternity Hospital.

The talks resumed at 12.30am after a negotiating session lasting several hours yesterday.

Earlier, both sides failed to agree a set of proposals to be put to midwives and nurses to allow the opening of the hospital to go ahead tomorrow.

After more than 10 hours of talks which began at noon yesterday, Irish Nurses Organisation General Secretary Liam Doran headed for a meeting of midwives and nurses late last night.

He was two hours late and he had no proposals to put to the meeting as he had been expected to do: that is more a measure of how intractable this dispute has become rather than an indication of the failure of the talks.

After briefing members for around 40 minutes, the INO negotiating team left to resume their talks with the HSE.

Any proposals that are agreed will be brought back before the midwives and nurses tonight for a vote.

Sources indicate that the talks are making progress.

But another deadline to commission the new maternity hospital is looming once again and there is no guarantee that proposals can be agreed to convince the midwives and nurses to transfer there.