We need a new government and a new Taoiseach by next Saturday or this country is screwed.
There are probably more delicate ways of phrasing it, but the reality which faces us isn't delicate - it's extremely grave.
Apart from the party political impasse which could not have come at a worse time - and more of that anon - the simple fact is that we need a constitutionally compliant government, involving both the Dáil and Seanad, to renew critical legislation which is due to expire on June 30.
That all sounds rather dry and technical until you realise that the specific legislation covers terrorism, offences against the State and gangland crime. This has already posed a problem. For example, two alleged gangland members involved in the Kinahan/Hutch feud are due to go on trial on June 29.
But unless both houses of the Oireachtas are in a position to renew the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act of 2009 it's likely that this trial, and others of a similar nature, will be open to extreme legal scrutiny as to whether or not they were constitutional.
To put this into perspective, it would ring the dinner bell for any smart lawyer who wants to argue that their clients were being tried under laws which simply do not exist.
It's a crazy state of affairs and, if everything else hadn't been equally crazy for the last few months, it would surely have become a national talking point. But during a time of unprecedented uncertainty, when it seems the bullets are flying at this country from every direction, people have largely ignored the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act in favour of more apparently pressing issues. That's understandable, but mistaken.
It's also a depressing reminder that this country is essentially rudderless. Many senior Fine Gael ministers still raise their hackles when they're referred to as a 'caretaker government' but if anything, the phrase 'caretaker government' gives them too much credit - a squatters' government would be more accurate, given that they are occupying spaces that no longer belong to them.
So, to state the screamingly obvious, we need a new government and we need it this week. The time for politicians' showboating and playing to their base is gone.
Yet, incredibly, we now seem further away from a coalition than we did last week when most people accepted that while a coalition wasn't exactly a done deal, it was trundling in the right direction. Common sense, if appeared, had broken out.
Well, if common sense had broken out, it was quickly recaptured and placed back in a cell.
The obduracy of some Greens has exposed a stubborn fanaticism which was often suspected but rarely witnessed so publicly - mostly because the party has been irrelevant since their near wipeout of 2011.
Now, despite the promise of numerous senior ministerial positions and all the bells and whistles they could hope for, many of them still aren't happy.
The motives for opposing the proposed coalition are as varied and eccentric as the members themselves. For example, one of the main gripes is the failure to include the Occupied Territories Bill in the programme for government, which would force a national boycott of goods produced in land disputed between Israel and the Palestinians.
People of good conscience can argue the rights and wrongs of the current situation in the Middle East - but is that really the hill that they're prepared to die on?
While the Greens are undoubtedly the biggest roadblock to forming a government, they're not alone.
Young Fine Gael is also opposed to the proposed deal, on some spurious grounds of 'party identity' - this should surely be the time for the senior members of Fine Gael to tell the kids to shut up and do what they're told.
Interestingly, with the exception of a vestigial rump of Civil War obsessives led by Éamon Ó Cuív, Fianna Fáil members seem the most inclined to enter this undeniably risky arrangement, although they still have some internal issues to resolve.
Sadly, it seems like we have reached a stage, more than four months after the February election, where it looks as if the cautious courtship between the potential leading parties has now turned into curt rejection.
We can't let them away with this.
Apart from renewing the legislation on terrorism and offences against the State, we need to get the July Stimulus Package up and running; we need to resolve the growing issues of both the PUP and Wage Subsidy Scheme; and there remains a whole host of other points of business which have to be passed.
Yet at a time of genuine national urgency, they insist on dragging their feet.
There is a growing mood within Fine Gael that, buoyed as they are by the recent polls, they should risk another election. On paper that may make sense.
But the numbers looked good for Theresa May when she called a snap election and we all know how that ended up.
Patriotism is often and correctly dismissed as 'the last refuge of a scoundrel'. But there is much more to patriotism than lustily singing the national anthem (or just chanting "ooh, ah, up the 'RA" if you're in Sinn Féin).
No, it involves a commitment to doing your best for your country, particularly in difficult circumstances.
How many of the refuseniks can honestly say that they are putting their country before their party?
Another unwanted election is looking increasingly likely if the three parties can't summon some sense of national duty.
They should remember that voters won't forget who let us down during our hour of need.