Government formation talks

  • Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will meet today to discuss options for forming the next government.

    It may be the first step towards a grand coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

    The Taoiseach has said that this is just an exploratory meeting, and that he'll discuss it with his party if there's a basis for further talks.

    Thomas Byrne - Fianna Fáil's Education Spokesperson - says there's no guarantee today's meeting will be a success:

    Many in Leinster House think the only realistic option to form the next government will be a deal between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, propped up by the Greens and maybe some other smaller parties.

    Elsewhere Sinn Féin and the Green Party will start serious policy talks on a number of issues today as Mary Lou McDonald continues her efforts to form a left wing alternative government.

  • A Galway West Fianna Fail TD says it's 'make up your mind time' when it comes to government formation.

    Significant progress has been made in talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party.

    Some key sticking points have been ironed out and optimism is said to be building among the negotiating teams.

    Eamon O'Cuiv, believes that we will see a programme for government by the weekend but then it has to be put to the parties.

  • A number of independent rural TDs will meet with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael this afternoon to discuss supporting a government.

    The two parties are eight short of a Dáil majority, and the Greens, Labour and Social Democrats are still considering whether to enter talks.

    Independent TDs including Marian Harkin, Denis Naughten, Sean Canney and Michael Fitzmaurice are members of the two independent groups who take part in today's discussions with the Tanaiste Simon Coveney and Fianna Fail deputy leader Dara Calleary.

    Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice wants to see more focus on rural Ireland and agriculture, if he's to support a government.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice told Midwest News that the framework document produced by the parties lacks specific detail, so this is just the start of a conversation.....

  • Mayo-based Minister Michael Ring says it's now up to Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald to form a Government of the left, following the general election, while the Independents also have a role to play in the formation of a new Government.

    Following a lengthy parliamentary party meeting yesterday evening, Fine Gael has decided to prepare for opposition in the next Dáil.

    A number of TDs said they don't want to enter a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael will step back from government negotiations, while Taoiseach Leo Varadker didn't rule out a coalition with FF, as a last resort.

    The cabinet meets this evening for the first time since the election and will stay on until a new government is formed.

    Minister Michael Ring told Midwest News that Fine Gael is now ready for opposition, as his party was not the winner in this election....