Amid the rumblings emanating from Fianna Fáil that coalition with Sinn Féin is off the table, the smaller parties in the newly convened Dáil continued to quietly go about their business.
The two busiest such collectives by some distance have been the Social Democrats and the Green Party, who, with six and 12 seats respectively, could have a big role to play in where power next lies.
The freshly invigorated party of Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall, which had trebled its TD count in Saturday’s election, met with the Green Party and Sinn Fein.
A further meeting with Fianna Fáil meanwhile was cancelled at the last minute after the larger party’s parliamentary party meeting ended up running to more than four hours.
That meeting was hastily reconvened for later this evening.
A spokesperson for the Social Democrats described its meeting with Sinn Féin as having been “constructive and cordial”, with further discussions planned for next week.
A party source said that much common ground exists between the two parties’ policy positions, but added that the meeting had been primarily of the meet-and-greet variety.
With news emerging from Fianna Fáil that a grand coalition between itself, Fine Gael and the Greens would certainly be on the table, doubt was cast on the ability of the Social Democrats to form the cherry on the top of such an administration due to a lack of common ground between itself and Fine Gael.
Meanwhile, the Greens, who appear to be the most affable of all the vested interests involved in the current process, continued with their programme of meeting all and sundry.
The party has now spoken with Fianna Fáil, Labour, Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats, and will tomorrow meet with People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett and Paul Murphy from RISE.
“I don’t think anyone has the faintest idea how it’s going to go,” party leader Eamon Ryan said.
“We said we would meet with everybody and that’s what we’ll continue to do,” he said.
The Greens meeting with the Social Democrats was meanwhile described as “constructive” by party co-leader Catherine Murphy.
The one party the Social Democrats has yet to meet with is Labour. Given that party’s pending leadership contest, it has been deemed that any constructive discussions regarding government formation are an impossibility for the time being.