The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party room is set up like a theatre-style university classroom.
The leader sits at the top of the room and the elected members sit diligently in rows of chairs in front of him.
There's a portrait photograph of Micheál Martin on the wall with a Tricolour and EU flag on either side of him.
Pictures of former Fianna Fáil leaders adorn the rest of the walls in the stuffy room. It's all very officious.
Just after midday yesterday, Micheál Martin decided to face his remaining party members in that room following a disastrous General Election campaign.
Sitting at the top of the room, alongside Fianna Fáil chief whip Michael Moynihan and parliamentary party chairman Brendan Smith, Martin kicked off a meeting which would last four-and-a-half hours.
He spoke for around 15 minutes before giving the floor to his party members.
He said he regretted the outcome of the election campaign which saw 16 outgoing TDs lose their seats.
There was no apology for the seat losses but he admitted not anticipating the rise in support for Sinn Féin.
The Taoiseach calling the election in January caught him off guard and he was happy to admit this. He said a full review of the campaign would be urgently undertaken by party headquarters.
Martin categorically ruled out going into coalition with Sinn Féin, which had been his stance before the election.
His failure to do the same on the day of the count had caused some concern among his party. It had actually come as quite a shock to party staff and politicians.
But at the meeting, he stressed his long-held moral and economic objections to allowing Sinn Féin into government.
It put a lot of minds at ease but left TDs wondering why he left the door open in the first place.
Martin went on to seek the permission of his party to open discussions on forming a government with all other parties which naturally includes Fine Gael. He said Sinn Féin should be allowed try to form a government but said he would not enter into formal negotiations with the party.
He said he would meet with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald as a courtesy but that is it.
The Fianna Fáil leader said Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane shouting "up the Ra" at a late-night election event showed the party's mask had already slipped.
Martin said he would return to the parliamentary party and seek its views once he held talks with all the other parties.
After he spoke, Brendan Smith took questions from the floor.
Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue, Marc MacSharry and Darragh O'Brien were first in with their hands up and all supported the party leader's position.
MEP Barry Andrews was also supportive. Seán Fleming said the party should give the impression of allowing Sinn Féin to form a government before getting involved in negotiations with other parties.
Some TDs suggested the party would actually gain seats in the next election if it went into power and fixed the housing crisis.
They said Fianna Fáil was the party of government and needed to step up to the plate.
One party member said the "country needs Micheál Martin now".
Others were not so convinced. Barry Cowen, Éamon Ó Cuív and Jackie Cahill warned about the dangers of going into government with Fine Gael.
They said it could damage the party irreparably when it next goes to the polls.
O'Cuiv and John McGuinness were the lone voices who suggested the party should talk to Sinn Féin.
McGuinness urged TDs to speak their minds at the meeting and not be led by colleagues who they may not agree with.
There was disappointment among some TDs that those who were agitating to go into opposition did not express their views when they were in front of Martin.
"There was lots of tough talk before the meeting but it evaporated," one TD said, before adding: "I presume phone calls were made."
Several TDs noted the confidence and supply agreement had not worked for them in opposition but still believed they should seek a reverse deal from Fine Gael.
James Lawless, Anne Rabbitte and Cormac Devlin were among those who suggested a minority Fianna Fáil-led government.
The parliamentary party meeting also heard criticism of the party's General Election campaign.
Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee was critical of the party's housing policy which raised eyebrows as it is overseen by her constituency colleague Darragh O'Brien.
There were criticisms of the party's social media policy from a number of TDs with most people accepting Sinn Féin beat them when it came to targeting voters through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Party headquarters and unelected officials were also criticised.
However, Martin walked out of the room still leader with the space he needs to find a path to the Taoiseach's office.