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Fianna Fáil says it stands ready to begin government formation talks with Fine Gael

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil concluded a day-long meeting where policy issues

Image: Leah Farrell

FIANNA FÁIL’S MICHAEL McGrath has said his party stands ready to take the next step and begin government formation talks with Fine Gael.

His comments come after Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil concluded a day-long meeting where policy issues such as housing, the economy, climate change, and the cost of living were discussed. 

The meeting began at 11am and concluded at 4.45pm.

Neither Micheál Martin or Leo Varadkar were involved in the talks today. 

A statement from Fianna Fáil this evening said: 

“We discussed housing, health, cost of living and climate change. Fianna Fáil is working hard to find a way to form a new government, which will take a new direction in these key areas.”

Senior frontbench Fine Gael members Simon Coveney, Paschal Donohoe and senior party advisers, are understood to have been involved in the talks today with Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary and McGrath. 

Fianna Fáil TDs and senators at will be updated at the parliamentary party meeting tomorrow afternoon. 

In a statement after the meeting, Fine Gael said its party’s representatives “held good discussions today in a policy exchange with Fianna Fáil”.

“Fine Gael discussed a range of important policy issues with their Fianna Fáil counterparts. Both parties agreed that the discussions were confidential,” said the statement.

Fine Gael is also due to hold another parliamentary party meeting tomorrow. 

Speaking earlier this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his party is not engaging on talks in relation to a programme for government. 

“We had an election last month, the opposition parties and opposition independents won over 120 seats. You needed 80 to form a government. They wanted us out and the onus is very much on them to form a government for the duration of the 33rd Dáil,” said Varadkar. 

Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters this evening that Fine Gael’s position has not changed and it is still up to other parties to form a government.

Tomorrow the Dáil will reconvene for the second day after the general election.

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