Abstract Irreducibly inconsistent systems of linear inequalities are considered from the point of view of applying simplex-like methods for investigation. We give necessary and sufficient conditions, for a system to be irreducibly inconsistent, which can be found by applying a simplex algorithm. Next we consider general inconsistent systems. The simplex method can be used to identify irreducibly inconsistent subsystem. Such subsystems can give structural insight in the inconsistency and are used in trying to make the overall system consistent. This can be done in an easy way e.g. by right-hand side manipulations. Finally the problem of finding a ‘cheapest’ way of doing this can be formulated and solved as an extended linear program.