SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor has said the proposed agreement on public sector pay and reform provides the best route to protecting public services and economic recovery.

Mr O'Connor said the economic crisis was ‘potentially the most serious problem that had confronted this country since the Second World War.’

He made the comments during a speech in Athy, Co Kildare, last night.

Speaking to RTÉ today, Mr O'Connor said the deal guaranteed jobs, would prevent further pay cuts and created a framework for restoring lost pay.