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Simon Coveney contacts Verona Murphy for coalition talks

Fine Gael reaches out to number of controversial independents

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Candidate: Verona Murphy with Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney at the official opening of the Georgia Southern University Global Hub in Wexford. Photo: Patrick Browne

Candidate: Verona Murphy with Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney at the official opening of the Georgia Southern University Global Hub in Wexford. Photo: Patrick Browne

Candidate: Verona Murphy with Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney at the official opening of the Georgia Southern University Global Hub in Wexford. Photo: Patrick Browne

Tanaiste Simon Coveney has been in contact with Verona Murphy and a number of other independent TDs as Fine Gael seeks to attract further support for a coalition government with Fianna Fail and the Greens.

Coveney reached out to members of the Regional Independent Group in a series of phone calls on Friday evening. Members of the group, which includes controversial TDs Michael Lowry and Noel Grealish, expect to take part in talks about joining the government within the next two weeks.

Murphy, a TD for Wexford who fell out with Fine Gael over comments about migrants when she ran for the party in a by-election last year, said she had a "very good relationship" with Simon Coveney.