The primary focus of this paper is to analyse the impact of collective bargaining " in the Republic of Ireland between 1946 to 1999. Turner (1988)1 described collective bargaining as the central institution regulating behaviour between unions, employers and employees. From the outset it was intended to make a substantial contribution in improving the general economic performance. The extent to which this happened can be seen by examining such factors as employment, industrial disputes, inflation and economic growth. The paper has two objectives. It aims to illustrate some aspects of the Irish experience of collective bargaining, and to determine why the various pay agreements were established. It also seeks to investigate what the consequences were for all concerned. Chapter 1 sets out the general history of the Irish trade union movement. In the second section, comprising chapters 2 and 3, the history of collective bargaining is outlined. The third section, chapter 4, examines the various effects that collective bargaining has had on Ireland since the 1960s.