Four months of political deadlock have been broken with the agreement on a programme for government. The two centre-right parties Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, which emerged from opposing sides of Ireland’s civil war in the 1920s, have held power since the formation of the state. But never at the same time. This will be the first time the two civil war parties will go into coalition together. The move comes after an inconclusive February 8 election, which saw Sinn Fein win the popular vote and its record number of seats in the Dail.