The parliamentary parties of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil are holding their first post-election meetings this afternoon, as questions remain over the make-up of the next government.
Micheál Martin is poised to tell his TDs that his party won’t do a deal with Sinn Féin, as one of his Clare Councillors says serious questions need to be asked about his leadership.
It was a bruising general election for Fianna Fáil, who began the campaign with hopes of growing their number of TDs and leading a government, but ended up losing a number of established faces and seeing their seat total fall to 38.
The party now also faces a quandary on what to do in the government formation talks – options to make up a working majority are very limited, even more so as Micheál Martin is now once again refusing to do a deal with Sinn Féin.
His leadership is also being questioned, including here in Clare.
Kilmurry Fianna Fáil Councillor Alan O’Callaghan was highly critical of the party’s election performance when speaking today on Clare FM’s Morning Focus.
The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party are meeting this afternoon to plot their next steps, in what could be a tense gathering.
Fianna Fáil TDs Cormac Devlin and Marc MacSharry spoke about their views on working with Sinn Féin ahead of the meeting.
Sinn Féin’s TDs are also holding their first post-election gathering in Dublin this lunchtime.
President Mary Lou McDonald said Fianna Fáil needs to decide what it wants.
Meetings are also being held today with smaller parties by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, while five rural Independents have come together to form a rural Independent group.
The group includes both Healy Rae brothers and Tipperary’s Mattie McGrath, but Clare Independent Michael McNamara has not taken part in their meetings to date.