Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said it will take until at least June to form a government as he faced opposition from Fine Gael ministers to a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil.
Mr Varadkar defended his deal with Micheál Martin in a teleconference with TDs and senators yesterday, insisting the framework document negotiated between the two parties contains "solid Fine Gael thinking" on areas such as tax and capital investment.
On the day their historic plan to govern together was published, the two party leaders faced contrasting moods in their parties.
Fianna Fáil TDs broadly backed Mr Martin's approach in a teleconference described as "all love and light" by one TD.
Mr Varadkar told his party that Fine Gael needed to play a role in government and that while he had no doubt it was the right thing for the country, he admitted it was "harder to judge" whether it was right for Fine Gael.
While Mr Varadkar was given the green light to proceed with efforts to form a government by reaching out to smaller parties, a number of ministers expressed opposition to coalescing with Fianna Fáil.
Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring was said to be "firmly against" the idea.
Local Government Minister John Paul Phelan warned "far from stability, this will bring instability".
A number of other ministers, including Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and newly elected Senators Seán Kyne and Michael D'Arcy, expressed reservations about governing with Fianna Fáil but did not openly oppose the deal. Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer raised concerns about Mr Martin becoming Taoiseach.
By contrast, the Fianna Fáil meeting was said to have passed off without any opposition being expressed to the efforts to form a government progressing.
Senior member Jim O'Callaghan expressed concern about the party coming under attack from Sinn Féin for going into government with Fine Gael. He said Fianna Fáil needed to explain clearly it was going into government only because circumstances had changed and the country was facing the Covid-19 national emergency.
He told colleagues that being in government would be difficult and Fianna Fáil needed to be ready for Sinn Féin attacks in "online videos".
Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness told the meeting the only thing missing from the framework document was "free wifi and Netflix" and that he could not see how any politician could not support it.
Those involved in the meeting said Mr McGuinness did not express a view either way on going into government with Fine Gael, but asked about how any programme for government would be approved.
Several TDs and senators raised the issue of there being a lack of detail in the document and the need for the parliamentary party to have more input into any programme for government.
"Micheál has accepted that point and noted that people have already emailed suggestions for programme for government and he wants to hear from members on what should be inputted," said one source at the meeting.
Senator Fiona O'Loughlin suggested tax increases could be needed to fund spending commitments in the document.
Veteran TD Éamon Ó Cuív criticised the lack of accountability in the Dáil at present, and again raised the prospect of a national unity government.