It has emerged this evening that a newly-appointed junior minister, who had refused to pay his water charges, has now agreed to do so.
Finian McGrath has this evening agreed to pay the bills which he had so far refused to pay.
Minister McGrath had been criticised earlier this week after saying he would ask for the Attorney General's advice before deciding whether to pay.
It is understood the minister is still opposed to water charges, but now believes the dispute is becoming a distraction in his new job as Disabilities Minister.
"I know that priorities must be set and I do not believe that my not paying the water charge at this stage will greatly alter the situation for Irish Water. The debate has moved on and it will be a matter for Dáil Eireann in due course.
"It is clear to me that not paying the charge will become a significant distraction to other important work and I’m determined that this will not be allowed to happen. To that end I will now regularise my situation with Irish Water and pay my charges," McGrath said.
new politics?im trying to deal with abuse,c.f.,disability ,health and housing.lab want to talk about water.strange.— Finian McGrath (@FinianMcGrathTD) May 11, 2016
Speaking this evening, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North Deputy Denise Mitchell said that she is not surprised at the capitulation of Deputy Finian McGrath in the face of Fine Gael pressure to pay his water charges.
Deputy Mitchell said: “I believe that Deputy McGrath's capitulation to Fine Gael and media pressure to pay his water charges proves he does not have the backbone to stand up for the people of Dublin Bay North."