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Grand coalition, with help from the Greens, set to keep SF at bay

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Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

Official contact between the two parties has not yet been made, but there is a sense of inevitability that a historic Fianna Fail-Fine Gael coalition government, supported by the Green Party, or, if not, a group of like-minded Independents, will be in place in weeks, not months as originally speculated.

That is not to say everybody in Fianna Fail and Fine Gael is happy at the prospect - far from it.

Indeed, a grand coalition may yet struggle to get the required ard fheiseanna support of both parties, with some senior Fianna Fail TDs, in particular, opposed to the idea.