Minority Government deal reached between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Minority Government deal reached between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Update 7.40pm: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both released statements following a provisional deal finally agreed for a minority government at Trinity College Dublin tonight, writes Juno McEnroe and Elaine Loughlin of the Irish Examiner.

Enda Kenny’s party said that a parliamentary party meeting would be held where the outline of the minority government agreement would be discussed.

This could take place on Tuesday, say party sources.

A statement read: “Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have reached a political agreement to facilitate a Fine Gael-led minority government.

“Both Party Leaders are now being briefed, extensive drafting has to be done and then Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will hold separate parliamentary party meetings to outline the details of the confidence and supply arrangement.

Fianna Fáil released a similar statement, after party figures broke from the talks saying their side were happy with the Dáil.

Negotiator and Cork South Central TD Michael McGrath said the party would produce a final draft document, which would be done as “quickly as possible.”

He described the talks as a “torturous, long and difficult” process.

Fianna Fail’s own meeting though might be held over the weekend, he said.

The document could possibly be a “blueprint” for future minority governments.

It was now up to Fine Gael to continue its own minority government formation talks with Independents, who would be needed to support Mr Kenny, the party said.

Update 6.47pm: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have finally agreed a minority government deal after weeks of negotiations, paving the way now potentially for a vote for Taoiseach for next week, writes Irish Examiner political correspondent Juno McEnroe.

Acting Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the texts of the agreement needed to be worked on but that the talks at Trinity College Dublin had finally completed.

The texts will go to the leaders of the two parties and then before the parliamentary parties.

Minority Government deal reached between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Minister Donohoe insisted that the deal would reflect and include the demands of the Fine Gael party.

Speaking at Trinity College: “I am certain that those people who voted for us at the General Election, the values of our party, the achievement over the last number of years, will be clear.”

A meeting between Fine Gael and Independents is currently underway in Leinster House, at which they are expected to be briefed on the outcome of the Fine Gael-Fianna Fail deal.

“We do have an agreement between the negotiation teams on an array of matters but the important thing now is that we end up with an agreed text at the end of this,” added the minister.

Update 5.48pm: Fianna Fáil have returned to government formation talks this evening warning that a deal may not be completed until their demands on resources to tackle homelessness and housing are addressed, writes Irish Examiner political reporter Juno McEnroe.

Minority Government deal reached between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Their stance comes amid a warning that the scheduled closure of hostels for homeless people in Dublin city will make the situation worse.

Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan said at the talks venue at Trinity College Dublin this evening said that a deal, which had been expected, cannot be guaranteed and that the party will not “give in” on the issues of housing or rent supplement. Fianna Fáil also said they were going back into discuss homelessness.

However, the disagreement is expected to be overcome and a deal agreed tonight. Asked about a deal though, Mr O'Callaghan said:

"I don't know about that, I can't guarantee that."

Fianna Fáil want demand for increases in rent supplement addressed.

Earlier, there had been signs that negotiations between the two parties for a minority government may be coming to an end whereby the draft pact would be passed to Independent TDs for approval.

However, it is also the case that the deal will have to go before the parliamentary parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil before finally being approved.

Independent TDs are this evening also meeting Fine Gael whereby a schedule of talks over the weekend is being worked on, as those deputies examine the two-party deal.

Independents have a number of concerns including broadband and housing which they want addressed.

Fianna Fáil have said Enda Kenny must get the support of at least 58 TDs if Fine Gael want their support. Mr Kenny got 52 votes earlier this month but must secure more support from members of the Independent Alliance and rural TDs to win the vote.

Earlier: Fine Gael has said there are now only "one or two" issues left to be agreed with Fianna Fáil.

Members of the negotiating team have said there is "substantial agreement on almost all matters".

Fine Gael are now hoping to be able to finalise a deal with Fianna Fáil this afternoon.

Simon Coveney has said almost every point of dispute between the parties, has been resolved: “It’s literally down to one or two issues to be finalised and agreed at this stage.

Minority Government deal reached between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

“But I think the expectation is now that we will be able to conclude this afternoon, subject to drafting and finalising documents and bringing it to parliamentary party meetings early next week.”

Fianna Fáil however has said it is disappointed that a deal on housing supports has NOT yet been agreed.

Charlie McConalogue has said there will not be a final deal unless it includes measures for the housing sector: “It’s something we believe needs to be addressed, as part of the agreement and the negotiations that we are engaged in.

“We will be seeking a conclusion, as soon as we can but it has to be satisfactory and it has to address the key issues in the country at the moment and housing undoubtedly is the number one issue facing many people.”

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