Iarnród Éireann has welcomed the invitation from the Labour Court to a hearing tomorrow in a bid to resolve the pay dispute which has paralysed rail services twice in the last week.

The company has accepted the invitation, and has been consistent in its position that the industrial relations machinery of the State provides the only forum where the current issues can be addressed and resolved.

While at this time Iarnród Éireann has not been advised of a withdrawal by trade unions of the further dates of industrial action (14 and 23 November, and 8 December), the company hopes that the issues can be resolved in a manner that ensures customers suffer no further disruption to services.

National Bus and Rail Union has confirmed it would be attending but cautioned against expectations of resolution.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary reiterated accusations of "intransigence displayed by Irish Rail management".

SIPTU divisional organiser Greg Ennis confirmed that his union would attend with a view to extract an acceptable recommendation for his members to consider to address their legitimate pay claim at Iarnród Éireann.

There have already been two one-day strikes at the company, with further action planned for 14 and 23 November and 8 December.

14 November is the date of Ireland’s World Cup play off game against Denmark in Dublin while 8 December is traditionally a large pre-Christmas shopping day.

The announcement of strikes was made after a collapse of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission over pay.

Unions had sought annual pay increases of about 3.75% - similar to the rises secured by workers at Dublin Bus and Luas after strikes last year.