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After repeatedly ruling them out, Enda now says Fine Gael will talk to Fianna Fáil

The Taoiseach said all the options for forming a government are difficult after a ‘bruising’ election for his party.

ENDA KENNY HAS said that Fine Gael will seek to form government in the interests of the people and will talk to parties, including Fianna Fáil.

Having repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a post-election deal with Fianna Fáil during the election campaign, Kenny acknowledged today that talks would have to take place.

He was speaking at his first public appearance since Saturday night in Castlebar, which was in the immediate aftermath of an election which has seen Fine Gael lose over a dozen seats.

Kenny spoke to the media at 1916 event in Collins Barracks in Dublin today, acknowledging it had been a “bruising” result for the party:

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

“My proposition was that we should ask the people to vote for a return of the Fine Gael and Labour government. The people have rejected that proposition, the people have given their verdict.

“The numbers in the Dáil, and the way that they are now falling through, make it difficult to put forward a proposition for government. But that’s what the people expect us to do now.

And as the leader of the largest party, and as Taoiseach, it’s my responsibility to work to see that that process is put in place and that includes talking to the Fianna Fáil party.

https://vine.co/v/igjKVpbQpn7

Asked about whether his preferred option is to govern in the minority or put together a formal coalition with Fianna Fáil, Kenny said no talks had begun yet with either Fianna Fáil or any other party or grouping.

“There are a number of options – they are all difficult – but the people out there for whom the election was an important part of their lives have voted, they’ve made their decisions.

It’s now up to the political process to deal with that decision and my responsibility as Taoiseach and as the leader of the largest party is to work with other so that the country and the people have a government that works in their interest and that’s the process that I am now entering into.

screenshot.1456931157.40584 Source: www.thejournal.ie

But Kenny repeated that this would not be easy as “the options are all difficult”. He ruled out another election, saying it is not something he is contemplating:

I don’t think anybody who’s elected to the 32nd Dáil wants another early election. I am not contemplating that. I have to look at all the options on the table here and that’s what I am going to do.

Kenny repeatedly ruled out post-election talks with Fianna Fáil during the general election campaign and in the months leading up to it.

On 15 February, he said he had done it “10 times already” and was doing so again. During the second live TV debate on RTÉ, Kenny said he was “certainly not” going to enter into post-election discussions with Fianna Fáil.

Separately, it’s understood that the Green Party is holding informal talks with all parties, including Fine Gael, ahead of the return of the Dáil on 10 March.

The party, which has elected two TDs, today backed proposals to discuss Dáil reform prior to Thursday week’s first sitting and the election of the Taoiseach, which is expected to yield a stalemate.

Read: Enda Kenny says people should keep paying their water charges

Read: We put Leo in charge of communications, God help us – Shatter

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Hugh O'Connell

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