Micheál Martin: Most people don't want another election

Micheál Martin: Most people don't want another election

Update 3.49pm: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the vast majority of the electorate are not in favour of another general election.

The Cork South Central TD has refused to give a timeline for the conclusion of government formation talks, but earlier admitted that there is a 50/50 chance of another election being called.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are back in talks this afternoon in a bid to thrash out a deal on a minority Government.

Speaking to Cork's 96FM and C103 earlier, Micheál Martin said he hopes the talks will bring about a resolution sooner rather than later.

“The vast majority of people don’t want an election, and I think people would like these issues resolved,” he said.

“I think the important point to make is that Fianna Fáil is not going into Government, it’s going into Opposition – however, it is prepared to facilitate a minority government.

“We didn’t get the numbers, we sought to lead a minority Government ourselves and we weren’t successful.

“That said, we are prepared to facilitate a minority-led Fine Gael Government. We think the world is changing in Irish politics and minority Governments could be the thing of the future.”

Update 2.42pm: Fine Gael's Simon Coveney has said the talks between the two main parties are complex and cannot be rushed, but he he's hoping for a resolution on the Irish Water debate in the coming days.

“There’s no point in setting something up that’s not going to last for more than six months,” he told Cork’s 96FM.

Micheál Martin: Most people don't want another election

“So there was quite a long list of issues that we needed to address together and to try and accommodate each other on, in the context of Fianna Fáil facilitating a Fine Gael led minority Government.

“We’ve been through most of those issues and we have agreement on most of them, but there are three or four still left to resolve.

“Obviously, one of them is water, and I hope we’ll be able to make progress on that today or tomorrow.”

Update - 2.05pm: Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny John McGuinness says a commission to look at a new charging regime for Irish Water is not needed.

He said: "Fianna Fáil's position has been that we outlined what we are going to do - in government or in support of government - with Irish Water, which is abolish Irish Water and suspend the charges.

"We need to stop and define where we are and where we want to go with this, and that means the structure of Irish Water comes into question and the charges come into question."

Earlier:

The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says there is a 50/50 chance of another general election.

Mr Martin was speaking in Cork before returning to Dublin this afternoon to continue talks on the formation of a new government.

He says a minority government needs to be solid to avoid a collapse further down the line, and that issues - including Irish Water - need to be resolved before that can happen.

Speaking to Cork's 96FM / C103 news, Mr Martin said he cannot give a timeline as to when the government formation talks must conclude, but he says that it could go either way at the minute.

He said: "It would appear to me to be a 50/50 situation at the moment and I don’t want to negotiate in public, I think so far there has been a willingness to keep channels open and to engage, and that's important.

Micheál Martin: Most people don't want another election

"I think the tone has been good, we are civil people and we are civil to each other, obviously there are political differences and sometimes you read that there is a war of words, but there is not.

"From my perspective this (Irish Water) is an issue that needs to be resolved, before the government is formed."

Meanwhile, Fine Gael's Simon Coveney said the talks are complex and cannot be rushed.

He told Cork's 96FM that he is hoping for a resolution on the Irish Water debate in the coming days.

Mr Coveney said: "There's no point in setting something up that's not going to last for more than six months, so there was quite a long list of issues that we needed to address together and to try and accommodate each other on.

"In the context of Fianna Fáil facilitating a Fine Gael-led minority government, we've been through most of those issues and we have agreement on most of them, but there are three or four of them still left to be resolved.

"Obviously one of them is water and I hope we will be able to make progress on that today or tomorrow."

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