After a particularly bruising day of talks the weekend before the deal was done, there was a moment that gave those involved in the marathon negotiations some hope that all would be okay in the end.
In the early hours of last Sunday morning, the three parties had finally reached agreement on transport and housing policy. Any other issues were to be left to the party leaders to find a solution.
Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney, who was chairing the late-night session, asked if everyone present was happy with what had been agreed - he got an affirmative response from the room.
Coveney then thanked the senior advisers who had contributed long hours to drafting the deal, including Fine Gael's John Carroll, Fianna Fail's Deirdre Gillane, and the Green Party's Anna Conlan, who were all there that night.
The room of around 15 TDs from very different parties broke into a round of applause. Some of those present saw it as more than just a clap on the back for their unelected staff, but also an affirmation of a deal that brings to an end historic division over a century-old Civil War while committing the country to becoming a world leader in the fight against climate change.
In the days after the late- night negotiations, Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan resolved any outstanding issues and agreed on a programme for government which they called 'Our Shared Future'.
In the coming days, all three parties will make the final push to convince their memberships to support the deal ahead of votes being announced on a US-style 'Super Friday' election day.
Supporters of the deal in all three parties believe it will be passed by their members ahead of Saturday's vote for the Taoiseach, which will take place in the Convention Centre in Dublin, due to social-distancing rules.
The new government will then have two days off before setting sail on a journey into the Covid unknown.
Traditionally ministers are given a couple of weeks after a government is formed to read into their briefs, but the perilous state of the economy means the new breed of ministers will have to forgo this luxury.
The plan is for ministers to get stuck into work immediately and work through until August when they will take the month off before returning in September to face into their first round of budget negotiations.
Before the Dail recess, there will be a mammoth amount of legislation to pass which has been gathering dust on Oireachtas shelves during the political impasse of the last four months.
The forced marriage of the three parties means they will have to keep up appearances for the neighbours and play happy families around the other children in the Dail while they find their feet in this new, largely loveless government arrangement.
The prolonged nature of the talks has given all sides a good indication of how inter-personal relationships will work once the daily mechanics of government begin to grind.
The naysayers in the Green Party worry that the old boys of the establishment parties will gang up on them and railroad them into decisions they do not want to take. The fear is that all those nice commitments in the programme for government will be chipped away one by one when the economic reality of governing takes hold.
They believe Martin and Varadkar are secretly working on a plan to ditch all their climate change promises and will revert to type once they have their seals of office.
But that is to misunderstand two things. One is Fianna Fail and Fine Gael's commitment to climate action and the other is the interpersonal relationships between the three leaders.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail made strong climate commitments in their election manifestos, albeit with one eye on the votes of young environmental activists who had been inspired by Greta Thunberg.
It is a demographic Varadkar aspires to lead but has struggled to win over as he refused to shift toward the populist rhetoric of Sinn Fein.
Martin has also taken a keen interest in environmental issues over the last four years and even went on a fact-finding mission to Denmark before the election to learn from a country considered one of the world leaders on climate action.
The Scandinavian nation, which is similar in size to ours, has banned the importation of any fossil fuels and is working toward ending their domestic production by 2050.
The personal dynamic between the three leaders should also allay some of the fears of the Greens who are nervous about entering into coalition with the two old enemies.
There is no real personal relationship of note between Martin and Varadkar. Despite working closely together over the last three years, they have developed nothing more than a professional working relationship. Meanwhile, Martin and Ryan have not only worked together in government but also in opposition.
Sources say Martin has a far better rapport with Ryan than he does with Varadkar, and the pair could be natural allies over the duration of a term in office.
A NEW DYNAMIC
Martin and Ryan are also entering into government after nine years of Fine Gael in power. Varadkar and his ministers spent the best part of a decade learning the inner workings of government and the civil service after Fianna Fail and the Greens collapsed the economy.
They have been in almost every department and have relationships with all the senior officials. Martin, Ryan and their chosen ministers will spend the coming months working their way through the labyrinth of the civil service before they find their feet.
The majority of the ministers appointed by both men will have never held office. They will be asking their private secretaries for directions to the toilets in buildings that Fine Gael ministers have inhabited for years.
On the first day of a new school term, the new kids always band together as a form of protection from those who have been running the hallways for years.
A DIFFERENT STYLE
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael may not be very far apart ideologically but their leaders are two very different politicians when it comes to style. Although Martin has come to realise over time the benefits of good communications, and certainly increased his public appearances in recent months, he still sneers at Varadkar's approach to messaging.
The deep-seated paranoia and mistrust of 100 years will not be wiped away overnight after Varadkar cleans out his office in the Department of An Taoiseach.
This century-old political division is ingrained in both parties from their head-quarter offices to each constituency branch.
Sharing power will not mean this long-standing rivalry will suddenly be boxed off and forgotten about for the sake of the country. They will try to contain it and play nice in Government Buildings but it will rage in every other strand of both parties.
The struggle to maintain the identities of both parties will weigh heavy on Martin and Varadkar and may define their relationship in government.
As one Fine Gael negotiator said: "There is nothing between us on policies but the fight will be to protect our identity when we are all agreeing to the same thing."
One of the main battlegrounds between the two parties over the coming years will be the functionary and logistical process of making government announcements.
It might seem like a needless cause for confrontation but previous governments, including the last, show this will be where ministers will go to war. Nothing infuriates a TD more than hearing their local rival announce a series of sports grants on local radio. With the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael coalition, it will be more important than ever to ensure all the positive news is shared evenly between both parties. Any infringement or attempt to get one over on a coalition partner will not topple a government, but it will heighten tensions and make dissolution more probable when another infraction arises.
A Government Co-ordination Cabinet Committee comprising the three leaders had been especially established to act as a clearing house for any grievances. The three leaders will meet before the main cabinet meeting once a week to review the legislative agenda and discuss the progress of the programme for government.
"If there is an issue of concern to any party, the Government Co-ordination Cabinet Committee is the forum for its resolution," the document says.
Another interesting relationship in the new government will be that of Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath. There is a more than grudging respect between the two politicians.
Both choose their words carefully and take a solution-focused approach to political dispute resolution.
They are expected to occupy the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform respectively and will play a similar role to Fine Gael stalwart Michael Noonan and Labour's Brendan Howlin when they held the offices during their parties' time in coalition.
The dynamic will continuously shift between the parties depending on the issue up for debate, and Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will be more aligned economically.
The Greens will have to fight their corner on many issues and the Ryan/Martin relationship will be tested over time.
It is unlikely there will be much cause for applause in the coming months.
Senior figures in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party will spend the coming days tirelessly campaigning through virtual teleconference meetings and over the phone in the hope of convincing their members to vote in favour of the programme for government.
Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan will meet this week to finalise a restructuring of government departments and a raft of new ministerial appointments. Here's the cabinet they could end up picking:
Mary and Micheal Martin are on the brink of achieving something they have been striving towards together for a long time. At an intimate dinner with them in Cork four years ago, their commitment to each other was plain to see. What was also clear was that theirs is a marriage of political beliefs as well as hearts.
The Green Party is unlike other political parties in that it is part of a global movement. Like the Labour movement of the 20th Century which championed the cause of workers, the Green movement finds expression across the world as people come to realise the catastrophic damage being done to our planet.