The European Industrial Relations Observatory is a useful resource to document the different comparative approaches that both government, employers and unions are adopting to the current economic crisis.
Slovakia offers one interesting comparison to Ireland. The government has adopted 60 different policy measures to alleviate the impact of the economic crisis. Interestingly, trade unions and government have managed to negotiate a common platform on how to handle the crisis.
Most of the ‘anti-crisis’ policies are directed toward maintaining employment. These include the temporary provision of insurance allowances (provided by the state to employers for up to 60 days), to flexible working time arrangements. You can read more about it here:
The main point to be taken though, is that a comparative analysis of what other EU countries are doing (in terms of industrial relations, social policy and labour market policy) can be illuminating for our response to the crisis.