Make your mind up time has long since passed
Stoney faced and solemn, they have come and gone with no clear purpose other than to create the illusion of purpose. That is the dismal perception of the procession in and out of Trinity in hapless pursuit of a government.
As the public seethes at the farcical amount of time being wasted, Fianna Fáil - the party that spurned the opportunity to be part of government - still insists on calling the shots and dictating the key points of the Government plan, even though it will play no hand, act or part in its implementation.
A pliant and subdued Fine Gael parliamentary party is playing along. So on and on it goes, and as they say in all the best nurseries, where it ends nobody knows.
Irish Water is allegedly the sticking point, and has been for some time. Fianna Fáil has reiterated it must be abolished and charges must be suspended.
The party still has the gall to insist that its manifesto must be the bible and its sacred script is not open to compromise. But even Moses limited himself to a strict 40 days on the mount before emerging with his tablets of stone.
Micheál Martin is on record as saying he is satisfied to support Fine Gael from the opposition benches in the national interest. If that is the case, let him get on with it, and end this once and for all.
We have long passed make your mind up time. Fianna Fáil can not take back its ball, storm off the pitch and then insist on determining precisely how the game is to be played.
Sinn Féin appears happy to observe the role of disinterested observers. Surely the Independents must now stand up and be counted and put national interests ahead of parochial ones.
Politicians have spent the last 18 months ceaselessly arguing about water; if they are still no closer to a compromise, the question has to be asked are they fit to govern at all? The issue was never more important than putting a government in place. With numerous storm clouds on the horizon and no one at the helm, pampering to populism could exact a catastrophic price.