Government talks: Independents call for minority government deal or a return to the polls

Independent TDs have put it up to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to form a government or go back to the country for a second election.

Just one of the 15 Independent TDs who have been involved in protracted discussions voted in favour of electing Enda Kenny as taoiseach yesterday.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin did not get a single Independent vote.

Putting on a united front, Independents have now pulled out of talks and will only re-enter discussions if a number of stipulations are agreed.

Before the third attempt to nominate a taoiseach was held yesterday, members of the Independent Alliance, the five rural Independent TDs, the Healy-Rae brothers, and Maureen O’Sullivan met to discuss their options.

They decided to abstain in the vote, which was the third attempt to elect a taoiseach since March 10, and set out a number of requirements to re-enter talks.

They said in a statement: “We are stepping back from talks on the formation of a new government with both parties until they agree a reciprocal agreement that they will give mutual support to each other in the event of either party leader becoming taoiseach in a minority government.”

Katherine Zappone was the only Independent TD involved in roundtable discussions to vote in favour of Mr Kenny yesterday.

Speaking in the Dáil, Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance said it is now time for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to come together and hammer out a minority government deal.

“We are getting used to being love-bombed by both parties. The problem, however, is that neither of those parties will love-bomb each other,” he said.

“That is the difficulty. Whereas the channel of communication between the Independent Alliance and both parties is good, when they talk to each other the Civil War politics immediately emerges. That is unacceptable.

“Moves by us to bring these two sides together have either been ignored or deliberately misunderstood.”

More on this topic

Water charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leaderWater charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leader

Independent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by ThursdayIndependent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by Thursday

Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'

Leo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrathLeo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrath


Lifestyle

Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner