Morning top 5: Suspension of water charges considered as government talks continue; hundreds attend Buncrana mass

The top stories this Thursday morning...

Water charges could be suspended under a new deal reportedly being considered by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The Irish Times reports that both parties have agreed to put a hold on water charges, until a new system with generous allowances is put in place.

It is understood that would change it to a public utility, rather than a commercial one.

Negotiators from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are due to resume talks again later, as water charges remain the biggest obstacle to a deal.


Hundreds of people attended a Month's Mind mass in Derry last night to remember the victims of the Buncrana pier tragedy.

Louise James was chief mourner at the service at the Holy Family Church.

Her partner Sean McGrotty, sons Evan and Mark, mother Ruth Daniels and sister Jodie Lee Daniels all died when their car slipped into Lough Swilly.

Davitt Walsh, the man who swam out and saved her four-month-old baby Rioghanagh-Ann, was also in attendance.


There is speculation the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board may recommend lifting the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood when they meet later today.

It follows a recent legal challenge here.

Top level experts are in Dublin today to discuss the most recent medical and scientific evidence and look at whether it is time to change the current rules.

The final decision will be taken by the Health Minister, currently Leo Varadkar.


100 digital marketing jobs have been announced for Dublin.

Search Optics is creating the new positions over the next two years, at its newly opened European and Middle Eastern and African headquarters in Dublin 8.

The company, which was set up in the US, already employs 15 people in Ireland.


Britain's longest-serving monarch turns 90 today.

Queen Elizabeth will be greeted by thousands of well-wishers at her palace in Windsor this morning.

Around lunchtime, she will meet others who are reaching the same milestone.