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Michael Noonan 'presumes' talks with Fianna Fáil will begin after Thursday

It’s the first time a senior Fine Gael minister has openly discussed negotiations with Fianna Fáil.

Michael Noonan speaking to reporters in Brussels earlier.
Michael Noonan speaking to reporters in Brussels earlier.
Image: RollingNews.ie

MICHAEL NOONAN HAS become the first senior Fine Gael minister to openly suggest that talks with Fianna Fáil will get underway after the Dáil sits this week.

The Finance Minister has told reporters today that he would “presume” discussions with Fianna Fáil will begin after the first sitting of the 32nd Dáil on Thursday.

“The Taoiseach has got involved in a series of discussions, starting with individual independents and smaller parties,” the Limerick TD told reporters in Brussels today.

But of course that will evolve, I presume after Thursday, into discussions with Fianna Fáil and then we’ll see where that goes.

Thursday’s Dáil sitting is expected to deliver stalemate when it comes to electing a Taoiseach with the house then likely to be adjourned to allow for further talks between the parties.

Some Fine Gael ministers expect that Kenny and Martin will begin to discuss governing together after Thursday. One minister told this website it is the “only option” once the Dáil fails to elect a Taoiseach.

Despite ongoing uncertainty over the formation of the next government, Noonan said there is no international anxiety about the lack of a government in Ireland.

However, he added: “If a government wasn’t formed for a significant period then anxiety would begin to appear in the markets.”

Noonan said he did not know if he would be back for the next EU finance ministers summit in May.

He insisted that personalities are secondary to forming a government, and added:

There’s no talks about a grand coalition yet. There’s a certain amount of speculation. Thursday has to be put behind us first. I don’t expect any nominee to have support of the Dáil for the office of Taoiseach, but we’ll see.

Noonan said that any discussions on the water charges issue would see Fine Gael set out a principle that water must be charged for, but he said that “issues around the edges” could be discussed.

Read: Sinn Féin will nominate Gerry Adams for Taoiseach this Thursday

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Hugh O'Connell

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