Fine Gael party meeting hears strong objections to forming government with Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael's parliamentary party meeting has heard strong calls not to go into government with Fianna Fáil.

Fine Gael party meeting hears strong objections to forming government with Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael's parliamentary party meeting has heard strong calls not to go into government with Fianna Fáil.

The party's TDs have been meeting in Leinster House to discuss what to do in the wake of the election.

There have been arguments made that Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil won the election - and it is incumbent on them to lead talks to form a government.

Michael Ring, in particular, spoke out strongly against entering a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil.

According to reports, a small number in the room, notably Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Justice Minister Chalie Flanagan, wanted to keep options open in the national interest.

If Fine Gael is unwilling to do a deal with Fianna Fáil then the options for forming a government are significantly reduced, and it places the prospect of a second election very much back on the cards.

The meeting in Leinster House is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald also has not given up on being in government despite other parties

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“I mean this, as clear as day, we have been elected in very large numbers to be in Government, even to lead the next Government,” she said.

She said that having made contact with all parties in the Dáil last week this week will be “about getting more work done, and deepening those conversations with those respective parties”.

“There is undoubtedly a solid block of TDs for change for a new Government. I remain very determined that we deliver that Government,” she said, adding that “now we need to knuckle down on policy issues” on housing and the pension age, key issues which saw Sinn Féin gain great traction with the electorate.

“The idea of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael being returned again for five years is unthinkable,” she said.

“We can be clear that the outgoing Government was deeply unpopular, failed people in many and profound ways, and the people voted for change.”

Additional reporting by Cianan Brennan

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