This day last week, straggling election counts were still going on. But it was already clear that the Dáil arithmetic did not add up too well for the tricky business of government formation.
For the foreseeable future this may be Ireland's new normal in politics and it poses a huge challenge to all our politicians. Yes, we must acknowledge this is complicated and it will require time.
After the last inconclusive general election in February 2016, it took more than 70 days to come up with a new and untried form of government.
If the past week of posturing is anything to go by, we may be about to set a new record of time with a caretaker Taoiseach and government keeping things on care and maintenance.
But the problem is that the great world will continue to turn, posing challenges, risks and opportunities for Ireland on the international stage. A quick scan of the list of issues literally hurtling at us will tell you why we do not have in excess of 70 days this time.
After the Dáil returns this Thursday, and fails to elect a new Taoiseach, the caretaker leader, Leo Varadkar, will jet to Brussels for the opening of an EU leaders' summit aimed at framing a seven- year budget plan. Central to this is plugging the hole left by the loss of €12bn per year in UK net contributions to the Brussels coffers.
That loss of funding raises huge questions for Ireland as threats of significant de facto cuts to crucial policies - most notably farm funding. Ireland needs a strong political voice at the EU negotiating table, and working the corridors making alliances with like-minded political leaders.
Competent and experienced Irish diplomats can only achieve so much.
Then there is the helter-skelter of the next phase of the Brexit talks. The EU leaders are expected to agree a negotiating mandate for a new EU-UK relationship in a post-Brexit world.
Ireland's trade interests are paramount but so are non-trade issues like fisheries, education, security co-operation and other matters.
Brexit leads us to the interlinked issue of Northern Ireland, which has only recently seen the restoration of power-sharing after a shameful three-year period during which these institutions lay idle. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's peremptory dismissal of his highly rated Northern Ireland minister, Julian Smith, was an ominous sign.
It was compounded by foolish statements that there can't be checks on goods going from Britain to the North. The dangers of things suddenly going wrong in the North is now very real. We need more than a caretaker government to face such a risk.
And the list of issues cited above is far from exhaustive. There is, for example, a process on reviewing international corporate taxes currently being done under the aegis of the OECD in Paris. Here again, Ireland's ability to attract inward investment will be in the firing line.
So, while we acknowledge the task facing our politicians is difficult and requires time - the leaders badly need to inject a sense of urgency into these procedures to give us a government.