Evening top 5: Coveney wants charge for wasteful water usage; HSE to begin hearings into 'Grace' case

The top stories on Newstalk.com this evening

The Housing Minister Simon Coveney has set the government on a collision course with Fianna Fáil, saying he'll refuse to introduce any new water charges regime that doesn't include charges for households that waste water.

It's believed a majority of the committee are opposed to charging wasteful households - but Simon Coveney says it's against EU law not to charge them.

He's refusing to follow through on any system which might result in Ireland being fined by the EU.

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) is to begin disciplinary proceedings against several staff over failings which allowed a disabled woman to be left in an abusive foster home.

It's believed around eleven staff members, who could have intervened to remove the woman known as 'Grace', now face internal inquiries.

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The National Transport Authority (NTA) is asking the public to let it know if gaps emerge in transport connections because of cost cutting measures at Bus Éireann.

The NTA today said it would find a way to save Route 21 from Westport to Athlone, which was in doubt following yesterday's announcement by the company.

The authority's Chief Executive Anne Graham says they are also open to other suggestions.

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The Travelling Community is to be recognised as an ethnic minority tomorrow.

A formal declaration is to be made in the Dáil by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. No new legislation is required.

It's seen as the final formal step in giving an official legal status to the Travelling Community.

The status was recommended last month by the Oireachtas Justice Committee, which said Travellers were "de facto" a separate ethnic group.

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Ireland, France and South Africa are all vying to host the tournament, with the two European sides deemed the front-runners ahead of the Autumn vote.

Last Saturday, Ireland and France met for the last time before the vote, with the French team promoting their bid wearing #France2023 on the jerseys.

A report in Midi-Olympique on Monday claimed that the French Rugby Federation (FFR) hierarchy were not happy with their post-match treatment. In the article, FFR Secretary General Christian Dullin claimed the treatment of the FFR by IRFU officials at a post-match banquet was like "us hosting other Unions at the snack bars under the stands at the Stade de France". Dullin also claimed it was the first time such a protocol was used by the IRFU.