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Friday 19 October 2018

Enda Kenny confirms he'll contact Fianna Fáil about formation of new government on Friday

Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny
Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

ACTING Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed he will make the first contact with Fianna Fáil about the formation of a new government on Friday.

Mr Kenny made the pledge during a meeting with Independents at Government Buildings, which is expected to last until late into the evening.

The Fine Gael leader told the meeting that he aims to agree with a policy document with the independents by Friday - before finally contacting Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin.

Throughout a series of meetings with both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on Wednesday, Independent TDs insisted that the two parties must speak about government formation.

But claims by senior Fine Gael figures, including Acting Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, that the party will not support a minority Fianna Fail government has caused concern among some Independents.

One deputy present throughout the talks told that such a claim “smacks of arrogance” and that the issue is likely to brought up directly with Mr Kenny later in the talks.

During meetings with the Fine Gael negotiation team, issues such as climate change, flooding nd justice were brought up.

And the issue of the Eighth Amendment, which gives equal status to the rights of the mother and the unborn, was also raised by Dublin South West TD Katherine Zappone.

It’s understood Ms Zappone argued for changes to the country’s abortion laws - but some TDs present expressed opposing views.

Meanwhile, senior Fianna Fáil figures - including Mr Martin and the party’s Environment spokesperson Barry Cowen - spent several hours meeting Independents in Leinster House.

Mr Martin told those present that he is serious about forming a government and that he is determined to win the vote for Taoiseach on Wednesday.

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