Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has said a series of strike days planned by unions in Iarnród Éireann will damage the viability of the company.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Donohoe said he understood the difficulties that workers had in voting to support measures that would result in their wages being cut.

However, he said the cutbacks needed to be implemented to secure the company's future.

Mr Donohoe said the Labour Court had described the cost-cutting measures in Iarnród Éireann as "unavoidable".

He said similar measures had been implemented across the civil and public service.

The minister said he did not want to see the industrial action going ahead.

The first one-day strike over the implementation of cost savings by the company is due to go ahead on Sunday 24 August.