IMPACT President Kevin O'Malley has called on the Government to deliver promised reforms on collective bargaining and employees' rights.

Mr O'Malley was speaking at the opening of IMPACT's biennial conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, where 600 union delegates are gathering over the next two days.

He described as a “national embarrassment” shortcomings in workers' collective bargaining rights, which he said were criticised at the UN Human Rights Council last October.

The Programme for Government gives a commitment to reform the law governing employees' rights to engage in collective bargaining, to ensure that Irish legislation complies with judgements which have been delivered by the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr O'Malley said Irish law is now seriously out of line with these judgements.

IMPACT, the country's biggest public service trade union, is a strong advocate of the Croke Park Agreement, and in his opening address Mr O'Malley insisted that the agreement was delivering reforms in the public service while at the same time protecting members' interests.

He promised that IMPACT members would continue to deliver public services, reduce costs and implement reform.