| 5.8°C Dublin

Close

Premium


A deal can be done - but politicians will have to put national interest before party

Martina Devlin


Close

Decision time: Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney speaks to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Election 2020 count in the Nemo GAA complex, Cork. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Decision time: Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney speaks to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Election 2020 count in the Nemo GAA complex, Cork. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Decision time: Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney speaks to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Election 2020 count in the Nemo GAA complex, Cork. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Roll up, roll up, roll up and watch coalition poker played for high stakes by Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil. Their negotiators are wearing their poker faces - an essential prop because nobody has a royal flush.

But this is a live game with plenty of action and both have reasonably strong hands, while Fine Gael is hovering half in and half out of play. A showdown is due to happen on Thursday when the Dáil returns and attempts are made to form a government, but don't expect that to be the end of it because this tournament still has some way left to go.

So, to recap, three largeish parties have emerged from the General Election and two must enter into coalition if a government can be formed. However, no two seem willing to do so. Perhaps they don't want to show their hands just yet - positions may shift in the days and weeks ahead.