Universal water charges in Ireland to come to an end
Controversial water charges in the Republic of Ireland will largely come to an end after a vote in the Dáil (Irish parliament).
The Dáil voted by 96 votes to 48 to accept a report by the Committee on the Future Funding of Water Services.
The report recommended that only people who excessively use water will be charged as opposed to all water users.
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Those who have already paid since charges were introduced in 2014 will be refunded.
A referendum will also be held to prevent Irish Water, the utility company in charge of the water network, from being privatised.
The charges were introduced as a key part of the government's plan to pay back the international financial bailout the state had to seek in 2010.
The Fine Gael-Labour coalition government at the time said the charges are necessary because it costs roughly 1 billion euros (£790m) a year to supply water out of general taxation.
However, tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations against the charges after their introduction was announced.