Time for talking is over as problems mount up
The leisurely approach adopted by the political classes in forming a government would seem to suggest that all is right with the world.
Far from it. If the events of the past week show us anything, it's that the lack of urgency shown by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in cobbling together a minority administration is delaying action on hugely important issues which affect every citizen in the State.
Despite having been bailed-out by the taxpayer, there is enormous concern that banks are holding off on mortgage interest rate cuts until a new government is in place.
This is a time so many households are struggling to make repayments, and when homeowners on variable rates are paying €200 a month - or almost €2,500 a year - more than their European neighbours.
New GP services for medical card patients, including blood pressure monitoring and contraceptive services, have yet to be delivered. The rural broadband scheme, vital for fledgling enterprises seeking to establish themselves in counties most in need of job opportunities, has been delayed.
And there is still no clarity or legislation to address the lack of legal powers for the courts to activate suspended sentences.
Housing and homelessness haven't gone away, and remain in need of urgent and targeted action. As is outlined today, the lack of a home has a profound impact on children in terms of health and schooling, and they continue to suffer due to the failure of the parties to form a government.
But instead of discussing and tackling these issues, the government formation talks have instead focused on the least-important issue of them all - Irish Water and the imposition of charges.
It says much about the priorities of TDs elected more than two months ago that they have yet to begin working on behalf of the people who deemed them fit for office.
The country needs action, not more discussion. The time for talking is over. It's time to get to work.