Enda Kenny could be reappointed as Taoiseach next Wednesday

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have signed off on a deal to pave the way for a Fine Gael-led government

Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, talks, water charges, talks, Enda Kenny, Michael Martin

Enda Kenny and Michael Martin (right) at the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration Ceremony at Arbour Hill, Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated: 21.10

Enda Kenny could be reappointed as Taoiseach next Wednesday, after Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil agreed a deal on forming a government.

The deal will now go to the two party leaders, before getting final approval from TDs within each party.

Fianna Fáil negotiator Michael McGrath said the three weeks of talks had been 'tortuous' at times.

But he said the agreement could be a template for how minority governments will work in Ireland in future:

The deal will now be drafted in the coming days before being sent to both parliamentary parties for approval, but may allow a new government to be formed by next Wednesday..

The announcement was made by transport minister Paschal Donohoe: "Both negotiation teams have now concluded their work. We have an agreement across a variety of areas. What is now going to happen is intensive work will now continue in relation to the text of the agreement of both parties that will then be shared with the Taoiseach and the leader of the Fianna Fail."

Our political correspondent Gavan Reilly reports:

It was hoped a new government could be set up after an agreement was reached on the subject of water charges.

It is expected that charges will be suspended for nine months, while an independent commission will be set up to examine the issue.

Sinn Féin's Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald says given the charges are to be suspended, people who paid water bill should be reimbursed.

She also reiterated calls for a constitutional referendum to protect water services in Ireland in public ownership.

"I don't like the fudge that they have arrived at," she said. "I think if you wanted clarity on the issue of water, the mechanism was to put the motion to the Dáil...and to make a clear cut decision".

More to follow.