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Gilmore insists water deal is close

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said he believes an agreement will be reached on the issue of water charges within days.

Speaking in Galway, he said a lot of progress had been made on issues of concern to the Labour Party, and he was confident of resolving any outstanding matters in the coming days.

Mr Gilmore said progress had been made on using a metering system of charging and also on affordability measures.

"I'm reasonably confident that we are now looking at having this concluded within days," he said.

Mr Gilmore (inset) was in Galway for the announcement of a €10m fund for unfinished estates.

Speaking about the ongoing water charge negotiations, he said: "One is the issue of the free allowance which we obviously have to deal with, and there's the issue of metering and how we deal with that because the reality is some dwellings won't be metered by the time the charging comes in.

"Progress is being made, we're not quite there yet, but we have made quite a lot of progress."