The nine-member group of independents have met with both Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin today and urged both leaders to “get on with it” in terms of forming a government.
The group also made clear to both leaders that they stand ready and able to play their part in the process of forming a government if they are required.
The group of independents - Sean Canney (Galway East); Denis Nughten (Roscommon-Galway); Michael Lowry (Tipperary); Peadar Tóibín (Meath West); Verona Murphy (Wexford); Noel Grealish (Galway West); Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth); Cathal Barry (Kildare South); and Matt Shanahan (Waterford) – held a short meeting in Leinster House amongst themselves after they left their meeting with Mr Martin.
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín declined to attend the earlier meeting with Mr Varadkar as he had voted against him in the Dáil but he was present in the group's meeting with the Fianna Fáil leader.
In both meetings, sources have said the group told both leaders that there is an urgency to forming a government and urged both of them to “get on with it.”
While no detailed policy details were discussed, sources have confirmed the main purpose of the meetings were to emphasise to Mr Varadkar and Mr Martin the need for a government to be formed as quickly as possible.
One source told the Irish Examiner: “We only formed as a group last Thursday but we have similar views as to what needs to happen. We feel we can play a role and have told both Leo and Micheál that we are ready to help if needed to form a government.”
From the perspective of the two party leaders, the attraction of such a group of aligned independents in a government is significant, as such arrangements have proven very stable in previous governments.
The two meetings come ahead of the first face-to-face meeting between Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar since the General Election later today.