Latest: Junior Minister set to support Government counter-motion on water charges

Latest: Junior Minister set to support Government counter-motion on water charges

Update 4.28pm: It is understood Independent TD John Halligan has agreed to support a Government counter-motion on the subject of water charges.

Earlier: An independent junior minister has said that he is likely to vote against the Government in the Dáil this week.

Waterford TD John Halligan said that he will probably support a cross-party motion signed by 39 TDs, calling for the immediate abolition of domestic water charges.

The motion is set to go to a vote in the Dáil on Wednesday night - just seven days after Halligan was appointed to a junior ministry at the Department of Jobs.

He said that although he has not yet seen the cross-party motion, he supports its views.

"I think I will be voting in favour of it, because I don't think it's fir for purpose, Irish Water," he said.

"I'll have to have a look at the motion, I haven't seen it yet to be quite frank with you, and see exactly what the wording of it is,

"Remember that there are free votes in the Dáil now the whip has been removed and … we have to have a vote of conscience and in conscience I don't agree with Irish Water and it should be scrapped."

The motion states: “That Dáil Éireann notes that a majority of Deputies elected to the 32nd Dáil made clear pre-election pledges to end water charges; and calls on the Government to:

— immediately abolish domestic water charges;

— establish a public water and sanitation board to deliver water on the basis of need; and

— set a date for a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of water services in the Constitution of Ireland.”

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