Morning top 5: Coveney says water charges money has already been spent; Andrew Sachs has died; and Pat Hickey gets loan for bail

The top stories this morning on Newstalk.com

Simon Coveney says the money paid in water charges has already been spent.

The Former Minister for the Environment was responding to renewed calls for the fees to be refunded - while the Government decides on how to fund the service.

It remains unclear if people who didn't pay the charges will face fines or prosecution.

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Comedian and actor Andrew Sachs has died at the age of 86.

Tributes are being paid to the Fawlty Towers star - who starred as the Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970s sitcom, reportedly passed away last week.

His co-star John Cleese has described him as a "truly great farceur".

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Pat Hickey is to get a loan from the Association of National Olympic Committees to pay his bail in Brazil.

Mr Hickey was arrested in Rio in August, and was granted the right to leave Brazil for health reasons by a judge.

The 71-year-old denies allegations that he was involved in ticket touting at the Olympic games.

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Donald Trump has named General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis as his Defence Secretary.

The former marine, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been described by the US President Elect as 'our best'.

General Mattis, has publicly criticised the Obama administration's Middle East policy.

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A new survey has revealed 93% of employees want a Christmas bonus - not a party.

The research also shows the majority of Irish job seekers in the private sector are unhappy with the salaries in their current jobs and are planning to ask for a pay rise or to change jobs within the next 12 months.