McDonald criticises 'award-winning fudge' deal on water charges

McDonald criticises 'award-winning fudge' deal on water charges

Sinn Féin has labelled the latest deal on water charges “an award-winning fudge”.

Last night Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil reportedly agreed to suspend water bills for the next nine months while a commission will be set up to examine the future of Irish Water.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou Mc Donald was highly critical of yesterday's deal.

“I think it is an award-winning fudge,” she said.

“What we want this morning is the motion that 39 of us have signed up to – the abolition of the charges.

“That commission to establish, finally, a properly functioning single utility and a referendum so all of us will know that the public water supply is in the hands of the people.”

Acting Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said a framework for how water charges would be dealt with in the Dáil has been agreed by both parties.

“What we made progress on last night is creating a framework within which the differing views of the parties on Irish Water could be understood and could be recognised in the Dáil,” he said.

“Myself and other members of the negotiation team will be briefing the Taoiseach on that this morning, and then we’ll then be having discussions with our wider parliamentary party on this, as I’m sure Fianna Fáil will be.”

Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea said there is no sense within his party that Fianna Fail has scored a victory against Fine Gael.

“There’s been compromise on both sides,” he said.

“We don’t see it as any kind of victory or any kind of one-upmanship. We made a firm commitment during the election campaign that this particular regime of water charges was unacceptable.

“People who were voting for us told us that, and they told us they wanted to change it.

“So there’s been some hard talking, it’s been long, it’s been drawn out, I know people are losing patience, but I don’t see it as a great victory for one side or the other, I see it as a reasonable compromise.”

It is believed that talks between the two parties will continue into next week.

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