The withering Greens were last night set to lose all but three of its 18 council seats and the party was left without any representation in the main city councils of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
The meltdown of the junior coalition party will be discussed when the National Executive Council meets this week for party members to debate a review of the programme for Government. But Green leader John Gormley said withdrawing support for Fianna Fáil is not on the agenda.
“That doesn’t arise,” he said, adding that the collapse of his party’s vote “was clearly an indication that some of the decisions that we have taken were deeply unpopular, there’s no doubt about that.”
Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan came out fighting saying: “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.”
Mr Ryan said: “We need to go back again and keep together. We’ve had setbacks before and we’ve come back from it and been strong.”
The party is stuck between a rock and a hard place with the growing realisation that being in Government is damaging its vote, while also knowing that if it pulled out of Government now it could face a total collapse in a general election.
The party has been left with no representation in Dublin, where five of its six TDs are based. It lost four seats in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, three in Fingal and two in South Dublin. In addition, its sole seat on Dublin City Council has gone.
One of its high profile councillors, Niall O Brolcháin, lost his seat on Galway City Council.
Former party leader and current junior minister Trevor Sargent said that while the result was a set back they would not consider pulling out of Government.