Government formation talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to resume today

A suspension of water charges for nine months could end the political deadlock between the two parties

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Barry Cowen TD and Fianna Fail TD Michael McGrath with Charlie McConalogue TD. Image:

Enda Kenny says TDs will not get another vote on Taoiseach until after government talks have finished.

The Fine Gael leader says talks with Fianna Fáil have not yet concluded, and the support of Independents is not yet secure.

There is no vote scheduled on today's Dáil business, and the house is not due to return again until next Wednesday.

Speaking in the chamber this morning, Enda Kenny says a vote will be arranged as soon as all the deals have been done:

TDs will discuss the refugee crisis during today's Dáil sitting, while the committee on housing and homelessness will also meet.

Meanwhile, the government formation talks between the two biggest parties will resume today.

Sources close to the negotiations say a temporary suspension of water charges for nine months is expected to end the political deadlock, and lead the way towards Enda Kenny being re-elected as Taoiseach.

As part of the new deal, it is expected an independent commission will be set up to examine the issue of water charges and Irish Water.

It is understood a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party last night was not marked by any dissent over the proposed deal.

Fianna Fáil deputies also met yesterday to discuss the potential arrangement.

However, Fine Gael will also need the backing of a number of Independent deputies if they are to form a minority Government.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Kerry TD Micheal Healy Rae said they are expecting complications over health and the environment, and no answer can be given while the details of the two parties' agreement remain unclear. 

He says it is impossible for Independent TDs - whether as individuals or groups - to make up their minds "in the absence of knowing what we would be agreeing to":

The negotiations between the two biggest parties continue today after the Dáil heard statements on Irish Water yesterday afternoon.

The Acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly accused Fianna Fáil of committing "environmental treason" over plans to suspend the water charges.

Sinn Féin, meanwhile, called the reported deal on water charges an 'award-winning fudge'.

The party is calling for a referendum to keep Irish Water under public control.