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Sunday 4 December 2016

Kenny calls for 'end to civil war politics' as he seeks coalition with FF

Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny has renewed his call for a partnership government with Fianna Fail and Independents saying "ending civil war politics is the best thing for our country now".

Mr Kenny said he was willing to host a meeting early next week involving Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Independent TDs.

However, Mr Martin previously rejected the partnership government proposal, saying his party promised voters they would not enter a coalition with Fine Gael.

He has agreed to a separate invitation from Independents to meet with them and Mr Kenny to discuss the prospect for forming minority governments.

Despite Mr Martin's rejection of a coalition, Mr Kenny renewed the call for a partnership government.

"It is my hope that those willing to participate or support in a partnership government can come together to discuss and agree how such a government will work," he said last night.

"I believe that a partnership government is in the best interests of our country and deserves full consideration," he added.

Mr Kenny's remarks come after the Independent Alliance (IA) wrote to him urging him to set up a meeting with Mr Martin this weekend.

Its six deputies expressed frustration that the brief talks between Mr Kenny and Mr Martin broke down so quickly earlier this week.

"We asked both of them to meet us within 24 hours because we felt the situation was getting ridiculous that they'd only spent 40 minutes talking in 40 days," said Dublin Rathdown Independent Shane Ross.

Invitation

The IA later confirmed Mr Martin accepted their invitation to meet today to attempt to break the impasse on government formation talks.

"He has confirmed that he will happily discuss how a minority government could be formed with both Independent Alliance Deputies and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

"We are awaiting a further response from Taoiseach Kenny," an IA statement said last night

Frustration among Independents at the breakdown in the talks between the two main party leaders is growing.

"People are sick and tired out there looking at the shenanigans that are going on and we're trying to work this forward in a constructive way," IA deputy Michael Fitzmaurice said.

He said that there should be a deal for the next three Budgets.

Earlier another Fine Gael minister reiterated that the party was not willing to support a Fianna Fail minority government, a stance that has angered Fianna Fail deputies.

Asked on RTE radio if his party was still ruling out that option, transport minister Paschal Donohoe said: "Yes, we have. We don't believe it would offer a stable administration to the country."

Mr Ross hit out at the way contacts between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail played out over the last week.

"Sometimes adolescents need grown ups to guide them on the way to some sort of maturity and the way they've been behaving we want to be a catalyst.

"We want to provide the basis for them talking.

"We're going to lose another two days if they don't get going by Monday," he said.

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