AS the Fine Gael party continues to woo independent TDs in the hope of slipping a marriage ring on their collective fingers with a view to forming a new government, a major psychological logjam has finally been broken following an assurance from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that he and Taoiseach Enda Kenny will hold talks after next Wednesday when the Dáil returns to vote on nominations for taoiseach.
The breakthrough came when Mr Martin reiterated that he wants to lead a minority government, which means his hat is still in the ring for the top job in Irish politics.
But the key question yet be answered is whether he would be willing to support a Fine Gael minority government. With Fianna Fáil members continuing to intone the mantra their election aim was to get rid of Mr Kenny, it is hard to envisage a scenario in which either they would change tack, or Fine Gael would agree to his removal, especially if they think they have the numbers required to re-elect him.
Further complications arise over water. FG remain committed to keep Irish Water going while FF are bent on its demise. Describing this as a key policy issue, Mr Martin insisted it was one they will not pull back on. Yet, at the same time, he went out of this way to advise those who had not paid their water charges to pay them.
If Ireland is to have stable government, both parties must compromise.
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