Unveiled: our fantasy frontbench team in a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin coalition
Let's assume they have got through their dramatic equivocations, their lengthy explanations, and their sincere justifications.
Now it is time to unveil our fantasy power-sharing team from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.
Let's put some likely names on key jobs.
TAOISEACH: Michéal Martin or Gerry Adams? It should decide itself by which party returns most TDs. But don't rule out either or both of them standing aside to make it more saleable.
If that happened, we could have Michael McGrath from Fianna Fáil or Mary Lou McDonald from Sinn Féin.
TÁNAISTE: Similarly, this should go to the party with the lesser number of TDs. But here the stand-down theory by at least one of the leaders is even stronger.
Being Number 2 in a coalition, problematic for both parties, could drive out either leader. A lifetime brass-neck award would beckon for either, Adams or Martin, if they toughed that one out. Then again ... So, again you could be looking at Michael McGrath of Fianna Fáil or Mary-Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin.
FINANCE DEPARTMENT: They would be well advised to keep this as a double-headed job. Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin or Pádraig Mac Lochlainn would figure, as might Peadar Tóibín. On the Fianna Fáil side, watch for Seán Fleming, John McGuinness and/or Willie O'Dea.
JOBS MINISTER: Watch for Fianna Fáil's losers on the finance jobs and/or Billy Kelleher and Éamon Ó Cúiv.
Sinn Féin would be looking at those cited above and not otherwise appointed. But watch especially for their backroom guru, Eoin Ó Broin, tipped to be a TD next time.
JUSTICE: Hold the jokes about the "inside experience" of Sinn Féin's Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis here. Who gets this one would tell us a lot. Fianna Fáil have ace lawyers, Willie O'Dea, Jim O'Callaghan - if he can get elected - and Niall Collins.
HEALTH: Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher or Seán Ó Fearghaíl, or Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
AGRICULTURE: Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cúiv, Thomas Byrne or Charlie McConalogue. Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley.
ENVIRONMENT: Barry Cowen of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin's Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, also a likely TD next time.