Talks on the nurses' dispute have adjourned after nine hours of engagement today and will resume at the Labour Court tomorrow afternoon.

The Labour Court invited parties to see if a resolution could be brought about in the dispute over pay and recruitment and retention issues.

Three days of strike action have already been held and another three are planned for next week, which is set to trigger thousands more cancellations for patients.

Leaving the talks, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the process involved exploring all the issues of concern to the nurses and the impact of those was raised by management. 

She said an information sharing approach had been adopted.

Asked whether the key issue of pay had formed part of the agenda for talks, she said she would not talk about the "ins and outs" of what was discussed.

The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Patricia King said she was clear that the employer side now had a better understanding of the issues.

However, she cautioned that it be wrong to suggest that there had been any indication of progress on the precise issues.

Asked whether next week's strike action was still set to go ahead, she said: "Absolutely".

The management side declined to comment.

The INMO and the Psychiatric Nurses Association are holding a rally and march in Dublin tomorrow to highlight their grievances over pay and staff shortages.

The PNA has announced an escalation of its campaign of industrial action, announcing a further three-day strike on 19-21 February.

The talks began at 11am this morning with representatives of the INMO, the HSE, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and ICTU in attendance.