Republic of Ireland news

'No guarantee' new Irish government will be formed by end of this month

Government formation talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Greens have been taking place this week
Cate McCurry, Press Association

The Republic's Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he "can't guarantee" a government will be formed by the end of the month.

Government formation talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Greens have been taking place this week.

The negotiating teams have been discussing a range of policies around the economy, housing, healthcare and climate change.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have been attempting to draw other parties and Independents into the talks process, however both Aontu and the Social Democrats have ruled themselves out.

READ MORE: Irish government to issue guidance on making and wearing face masks this week

Aontu leader Peadar Toibin said on Thursday that he did not want to add to "this neverending government formation process".

Fine Gael finance minister Paschal Donohoe

Mr Donohoe told RTE's Morning Ireland that he cannot guarantee there will be a new government in place in the coming weeks.

"What I can guarantee is I and my colleagues in Fine Gael are doing all we can to see if a government is possible," he said.

"I believe the defining challenge that we will have in addition to our great public health challenge is our efforts to get people back to work.

"We now have a level of unemployment that would have been unimaginable a number of weeks ago, that's causing so much harm.

"We have to get our country back to work. We have to get those who never thought they would lose a job again back in a job that respects them and pays them a good income.

"I believe in order for that to happen, we need to have a government formed that has an affordable, accountable programme for government and myself, (Tanaiste) Simon Coveney and all the members of our negotiation team are putting our best foot forward to try to do that."

Efforts to form a government are intensifying three months on from February's inconclusive election.

Fianna Fail won 38 seats (a tally reduced to 37 after one of its TDs was re-elected speaker), Sinn Fein 37, Fine Gael 35, with Labour and the Greens on six and 12 respectively.

A majority of 80 seats is needed to form a government.

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