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Coalition deal still far from certain but party leaders begin talks on tricky cabinet carve-up

Hugh O'Connell


Negotiators are exhausted as desperation grows in FF and pessimism in FG over the Greens accepting a deal

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NEGOTIATION: Micheal Martin

NEGOTIATION: Micheal Martin

NEGOTIATION: Micheal Martin

Fianna Fail negotiators were a visible presence last week around the coffee dock of LH2000, the modern annexe of the Leinster House complex.

The party's government talks team seemed to be making a point of using the time out from the negotiations with Fine Gael and the Greens to engage with backbenchers. Copious amounts of tea and coffee were being consumed. "Jesus, if they were a hurling team you'd throw a bucket of water over them," remarked one TD who sat with them. "They're f***ing wrecked."

Also present in the same area before lunchtime last Wednesday was Micheal Martin, umbrella in hand, chatting to his deputies and only breaking away when he spotted Eamon Ryan emerging from his office. The pair were deep in conversation for a few minutes before Ryan departed.