Saturday 22 October 2016

Micheal Martin warned to stick by pledge to abolish water charges

Niall O'Connor & Barry Lennon

Published 21/04/2016 | 14:17

File pic
File pic

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has been warned the party must not abandon its pledge to suspend water charges.

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In a significant development , Fianna Fáil TDs were today deeply sceptical about water measures being discussed by the two negotiator teams.

There was a strong view expressed that the party must insist on the suspension of charges - a stance being strongly resisted by Fine Gael.

"It was made clear to Martin - it's all or nothing, " said one source present.

Read more: Irish Water splashes €460,000 on secret surveys

There was also deep concern expressed about the role of Independents in any minority government.

But the rejection by Fianna Fáil TDs of some of the measures being tabled is significant and suggests that the impasse will continue.

Fine Gael is also meeting today as the two negotiating teams prepare to resume talks in Trinity College today.

Fine Gael negotiator Paschal Donohoe insisted his party was still “supportive” of negotiations after Fianna Fail skepticism over Irish Water this afternoon.

“As a negotiation team we're reassured by the full-support of the parliamentary party for the work the team and the Taoiseach are doing,” he said.

“We've made progress over the last few days, but we need to keep at it now.”

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail's Charlie McConalogue described this afternoon's meeting with his colleagues as “constructive” despite unease.

“We had a constructive meeting and now we will continue our work in a productive and constructive fashion and we would like to see a minority Government put in place,” he said before re-entering talks today.

“We just have to work through issues and try and do our best.”

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