Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin calls for cool heads ahead of Fine Gael talks

Micheál Martin
Image caption Micheál Martin said his party had received a good reception from independent TDs

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said cool heads and focus are required ahead of talks between his party and Fine Fael, the two largest in the Republic of Ireland.

The parties have agreed to meet for discussions on how a minority government would work.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil made the announcement on Saturday.

Mr Martin told Irish state broadcaster RTÉ that he welcomed the start of more substantive talks.

He said Fianna Fáil had received a good reception from independent TDs (Irish parliament members).

Image caption On Wednesday, Enda Kenny was defeated by 80 votes to 51, while Micheál Martin was defeated by 95 to 43

However, he refused to comment on reports that a number of independents were leaning towards a Fianna Fáil-led minority government.

The fresh talks follow failed attempts by Fine Gael's Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil counterpart Micheál Martin to be elected the country's taoiseach (prime minister) on Wednesday.

It was their second attempt since February's general election.

The focus of the upcoming talks would be on how a viable minority government would work.

Mr Kenny's preferred option has been for an equal partnership government.

Independent TDs were not involved in the talks.

Each party will continue separate talks with the independents.

The Irish parliament, known as the Dáil, last met on 10 March, when TDs failed to elect a taoiseach to form a government.

After the February election to the Dáil, Fine Gael has 50 seats, Fianna Fáil has 44, Sinn Féin has 23 and the Labour Party has seven.

Related Topics

More on this story