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Government formation talks with Greens continue into second week

Talks are expected to continue until the end of the month at the earliest.

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Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he has received a response from the leaders of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael (PA)

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he has received a response from the leaders of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael (PA)

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he has received a response from the leaders of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael (PA)

Government formation talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Greens resumed on Monday.

The negotiating teams are set to discuss a range of policies around the economy, housing, health care and climate change over the coming days and weeks.

It is expected that the talks will continue until the end of May or early next month as the parties try to hammer out an agreed programme for government.

The discussions started last week after Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he received a commitment from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael that they would work towards a target of reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by 7% over the next decade.

Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he has received a response from the leaders of the two bigger parties and will discuss it with his parliamentary party over the coming days.

The update comes after Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin invited the Labour Party to join in discussions to form a new government.

However, Mr Kelly indicated that his party will not participate in the formal talks.

In a statement, Mr Kelly said: “It is clear Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are now united on economic policy and have taken a position on taxation which is concerning to us, however I do welcome their commitment that the next government would honour the existing public service pay deal.

“We will respond in more detail to the policy issues in the letter later in the week.

“I welcome the acknowledgement by the leaders, of our view on government formation. There are four parties with more TDs in the Dail than the Labour Party, and any three of those can form a government with a majority.

“Detailed negotiations are now under way on government formation between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party, and if successful would command a majority in the Dail.

“We respect the mandate of the participants, and for now they should be given the space and time to reach a conclusion.”

Efforts to form a government are intensifying three months on from February’s inconclusive election.

Fianna Fail won 38 seats (a tally reduced to 37 after one of its TD was reelected speaker),  Sinn Fein 37, Fine Gael 35, with Labour and the Greens on six and 12 respectively.

PA