More than 27,000 nurses went on strike on 19 October 1999 in what was described as the darkest day in the history of the profession. The dispute was over pay.

Reality finally bit this morning for the country's twenty seven and a half thousand nurses.

Pickets were in place at more than a thousand locations around the country, while health service employers called the management of emergency services

a logistical nightmare.

The ICTU General Secretary, Peter Cassells, said the negotiation process could involve direct negotiations, with any outstanding issues referred to a third party. 

RTÉ News speaks to nursing staff on the pickets, and Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO). 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 October 1999. The reporter is Peter Cluskey.