'Goodwill and compromise' can conclude deal for FG minority government

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are back at talks again today

Government, coalition, talks, Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour, progress, Noonan, Willie O'Dea

Pictured are (left to right) Michael McGrath, Barry Cowen, Charlie McConalogue and Jim O'Callaghan as they leave Leinster House in Dublin Image: RollingNews.ie

One of the Fianna Fáil negotiators says with goodwill and compromise they can conclude a deal to facilitate a Fine Gael minority government.

Both parties are back around the talks table today, with the contentious issue of Irish Water set to be the biggest stumbling block.

Getting the negotiating teams to stop for a media interview was contentious enough this afternoon.

Barry Cowen of Fianna Fáil was giving little away on Irish Water.

"It's like many other issues that are contained in our manifesto", he said.

His colleague Michael McGrath said there was good progress - but that nothing was agreed until everything is agreed.

He said there were no deadlines, but added: "There are some thorny issues yet to be agreed - clearly nothing is agreed until everything's agreed".

"That does require goodwill on all sides and indeed compromise", Mr McGrath added.

And that compromise is being signalled from the Fine Gael side, too. Simon Coveney commented: "Obviously the parties have differences on a number of issues, and we're trying to work our way through those differences to find compromise and a way forward".

But Irish Water is the biggest stumbling block, and senior Fine Gael sources say it is being left to them to 'fix it'.

However there is an increasing sense that a deal could now be hammered out to allow for the election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach on Thursday.

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