Bruton: Independents need FG-FF written agreement

Irish Water a sticking point in negotiations between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil

 Government, coalition, talks, Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Independents,

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A Fine Gael acting Minister believes Independent TDs are looking for a written agreement on how Fianna Fáil would support a minority Government led by Fine Gael 

Richard Bruton says that putting any deal on paper is just "good thinking", and said the absence of a written agreement was one weakness of the 1987 Tallaght strategy, when Fine Gael led by Alan Dukes supported a minority Fianna Fáil administration.

Richard Bruton believes the architecture of a minority government needs to be stated on paper. He was speaking to reporters this afternoon.

While Fianna Fáil have signalled they will compromise on a written agreement, Irish Water remains a major sticking point in talks on forming a minority government led by Fine Gael.

Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin spoke this morning and agreed that the meetings would resume, with negotiating teams meeting this afternoon.

Last night Fianna Fáil threw in the towel on its attempts to be the party to form a minority government after a third vote to choose a Taoiseach.

One of the major points of contention is likely to be Irish Water and charges.

Acting Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe says they are "deadly serious" about putting together a government.

But he told Newstalk Breakfast that Fine Gael are adamant that Irish Water will remain.

Fianna Fáil wants the utility scrapped and charges suspended for five years.

Party negotiator and TD for Dublin Bay South Jim O'Callaghan made it clear.

Last night the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party heard TDs say there should not be a written agreement on a deal with Fine Gael - but Deputy O'Callaghan says a short document outlining the agreement should be published.