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Sinn Féin is dead serious about trying to make Mary Lou next Taoiseach but it will have to 'weigh up the numbers'

Hugh O'Connell


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Hopes talks will bear fruit: Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald jokes with a stall owner on Dublin’s Moore Street watched by Eoin Ó Broin. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Hopes talks will bear fruit: Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald jokes with a stall owner on Dublin’s Moore Street watched by Eoin Ó Broin. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty

AFP via Getty Images

Hopes talks will bear fruit: Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald jokes with a stall owner on Dublin’s Moore Street watched by Eoin Ó Broin. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty

No matter what happens in the coming days, the first sitting of the 33rd Dáil will take place next Thursday. By that stage, Mary Lou McDonald will hope to have garnered more support than any party leader for the eventual Dáil vote to elect a Taoiseach.

She will also hope she has the numbers to form a government. A Dáil majority of 80 without either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael is nearly impossible. But Sinn Féin is very serious about trying to make it happen.

"The aim here is to form a government," said a senior party figure last night. "Everyone is exhausted. A lot of people we want to talk to are still caught up in counts. But what we're saying publicly is what we're saying privately."