Latest: Taoiseach claims will of majority has won out on water charges

Update 5pm: The Taoiseach has claimed the will of the majority has won out on water charges.

Enda Kenny was responding to criticism of the deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at the water committee.

Sinn Féin says it shows the confidence and supply agreement is really the 'agreement on connivance and cute-hoorism'.

Enda Kenny defended the deal, saying the position put forward by Sinn Féin and other left wing parties had lost.

"You said 'who prevails in a democratic society?' The answer is the majority, that's what democracy is about. You talk things out and then you make a decision and a decision was made..."

Meanwhile Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen believes the best deal has been reached on Water Charges.

Speaking in the past hour, Mr Cowen said that water conservation will be dealt with - which he believes is a success.

Update 1.15pm: The Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil deal on Government has been described as 'an agreement on connivance and cute-hoorism'.

Sinn Féin says the two parties have cobbled together a deal on water that isn't listening to the will of the people.

Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald says the outrage of people on water is not being listened to by the Government: "The connivance is provided by your party Taoiseach, in your blatent undermining of the democratic and political processes within the Oireachtas.

"The cute-hoorism is as ever provided by Fianna Fáil, who have flip-flopped once again."

Update 10.43am: Fianna Fáil has hit out at claims that a new plan would allow the introduction of water charges through the 'back door' in the future.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy is citing the compulsory metering of new builds as proof of the plan.

The Dáil is set to debate the final report from the water services committee this evening, ahead of a vote tomorrow.

Fianna Fail Deputy Willie O'Dea dismissed the Solidarity Party concerns about the current plan.

“One of their main planks was water charges – that has now been taken away from them, and they’re trying to hang on to the remnants of it,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is … there will be no charge for large households unless there’s grossly wasting water.

“That would have to be provided for in legislation, and if the legislation says otherwise, we certainly wouldn’t be supporting it.”


Update 7.24am: Solidarity TD Paul Murphy has said that Fianna Fáil has yet again broken a promise to end charges completely.

The Right2Water campaign says the deal done paves the way for widespread charging of people in future.

“We always preface anything we say about Fianna Fáil that they cannot be trusted,” he said.

“And there’s a very strong message for anyone who had any belief that they can be trusted – they can’t.

“We did preface everything we said last week by saying you could never rule out another backroom dodgy deal between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”


The Dáil will debate the final report of the water services committee in just one hour and 20 minutes this evening.

A formal vote to end the current charging regime will take place tomorrow with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil expected to carry it comfortably.

Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen is adamant his party has delivered on its pledge to end water charges and that only those who waste water will ever get a bill in future.

"The charges are gone, if you didn't hear me earlier, they're not coming back," he said.

"And as I said to you , when all the spin is gone and when all the spin dissipates and fades away, the facts will remain.

"And I have made a firm commitment to everybody … they won't be receiving any more bills."

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