Updated: 11/04/17 : 08:22:23
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Last attempt by Oireachtas Committee to agree final water report

The Oireachtas Committee looking at the future funding of domestic water services meets today in what is set to be a last attempt to agree a final report.

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael remain at odds over the report's recommendations.

Fianna Fáil has warned the water charges issue could trigger a general election.

RTÉ reports that the warning comes as the Oireachtas Committee is putting the finishing touches to its report on the future of the charges which are opposed by a majority of TDs.

Water bills for households are set to go for almost everyone but there is no agreement between the two biggest parties over how to deal with excessive or wasteful use of water, which could affect up to 8% of homes.

Today, the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services will hear legal advice before signing off on the report.

If as expected that advice does not throw up any major surprises, then a majority-backed report would go to the Dáil where it will have to be voted on within a month.

However, the legislation that follows to give effect to the committee's recommendations could prove crucial.

It may take several months to complete and it could possibly allow a comprise between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on this most thorny of political issues.

The alternative to that scenario would be a general election.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet meets this morning to consider proposals to establish a root and branch review of An Garda Síochána.

The second interim report of the inquiry examining mother and baby homes is also on the agenda.

The publication of the report was delayed as the Government needed more time to respond to its recommendations.

The report follows the discovery by that inquiry of the remains of infants at the Tuam mother and baby home.