It's decision time for the Green Party, Labour and the Social Democrats as the glare of the national spotlight intensifies.
Pressure on them to 'do the right thing' and act 'in the national interest' is not entirely fair.
Politicians and commentators who pump up the 'rhetoricometer' on those obligations will be scarce if any or all of these three smaller parties suffer the usual post-coalition meltdown, so often the fate of smaller coalition partners.
Labour, seriously depleted in the 2016 general election, is still down in the dumps. The Green Party was all but wiped off the political map in February 2011 and has only slowly built to what is now an all-time high.
The fledgling Social Democrats, launched almost five years ago, is still in the process of building. Its six TDs are acutely aware of the post-coalition fate of both Labour and the Green Party.
It is hard to totally dismiss the current pressure to be seen to act for the greater good - especially as we face an unprecedented crisis that could yet land the country anywhere.
But it is more important to weigh the potential gains and losses of joining government.
Green Party pluses:
Dáil arithmetic gives it a huge advantage that could strengthen its hand and enable it exact a very high political price. Its 12 TDs, combined with the Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael total of 72, gives a comfortable - but not too comfortable - majority.
The Greens' key issue is addressing climate change, which could be pushed into the background in the coronavirus crisis aftermath.
The party can get three key cabinet seats and drive policy on this and other issues such as social housing and public transport. Such opportunities may not come again in a working lifetime.
Green Party minuses:
The party that entered coalition with Fianna Fáil in 2007 was both united and experienced, with many of them having up to two decades in public life. This Green Party is very different, replete with idealistic and energetic newcomers.
They may have little patience with the slow pace of government and the myriad obstacles to getting things done. Maintaining party unity will be a huge challenge. An unforgiving public may well turn on it as hard government decisions hit home.
After it all, it could be back staring into the 2011 abyss soon. The Green Party shares a difficulty in common with many ideologically driven parties that the perfect can often be the enemy of the achievable compromise.
Since the State's foundation, the Labour Party has been in nine coalitions. Many of its leading figures have been household names and claimed a place in our history.
The voice of self-reliant working people was never so badly needed. It could again be seen to contribute to providing solutions by commanding some key cabinet posts.
Since the 2011 electoral meltdown, it has been almost invisible.
There is no guarantee it can rebuild in opposition this time either. A stint in government might bring it back into public view.
The party's history of relatively quick electoral recovery after a post-coalition kicking by voters has not happened this time.
The strength of Sinn Féin, the Green Party resurgence and the rise of more vocal leftist parties and Independents have changed the Irish political landscape to Labour's disadvantage.
Labour needs to redefine its role and rebuild its fraternal role with the trade unions.
It is hard to do much of that if you are in government selling tough political realities to a frustrated electorate.
A 10th Labour coalition role could be a bridge too far.
It could even prove terminal. It may be preferable to renew its appeal to a new generation rather than coalescing with the two old enemies in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
Social Democrat pluses:
Some of the most eloquent criticisms of government have come from the party's co-leaders, Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall.
Ms Shortall has been acknowledged, even by critics, for her role in developing cross-party backing for health reforms in Sláintecare.
This is an opportunity to put big plans into force and time to offer alternatives of transparent and accountable government.
Failure to take a government role will leave it open to claims of cowardice.
As with the others, there is no guarantee that this opportunity will come again soon.
Social Democrat minuses:
This party is not yet fully formed and lacks a depth of political experience beyond the two co-leaders. It exists in pockets and will celebrate its fifth birthday in July.
Too-early involvement in coalition played a role in the demise of two idealistic and radical parties, Clann na Talmhan (1939-1965) and Clann na Poblachta (1946-1965).
As with the other potential coalition partners, building a political organisation and maintaining unity may be a bigger priority than helping provide a government that could ultimately prove quite unpopular.