Fianna Fáil to oppose motion on scrapping water charges

Party had committed to abolishing Irish Water and ending charges in its election manifesto

Fianna Fáil to oppose motion on scrapping water charges

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen | Photo:

Fianna Fáil has refused to support an opposition motion calling for the abolition of water charges.

The party will instead table a counter-motion backing the suspension of the charges while a commission examines the issue.

Fianna Fáil agreed to facilitate the Fine Gael-led minority government last month after reaching a deal to postpone water payments for nine months.

But its prior commitment to getting rid of the utility will come under scrutiny when a Right2Water motion seeking the immediate scrapping of the charges comes before the Dáil tomorrow night.

Independent TD and Minister of State John Halligan yesterday ruled out backing the cross-party motion, which is signed by 39 TDs, having earlier suggested he would support the vote.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin told Newstalk Breakfast that the motion to end the charges mirrors the wording of Fianna Fáil’s pre-election position on water.

But Fianna Fáil housing spokesperson Barry Cowen today dismissed the vote as political point-scoring and called on opposition TDs to instead engage with the water commission.

The cabinet is due to meet later today to discuss the wording of its own counter-motion to the Right2Water vote.