Fianna Fáil has decided to hold round-table talks with Independent TDs next week – just hours before the Dáil meets to attempt to elect a Taoiseach.
The move may now change plans by Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny to initiate contact with Micheál Martin as early as tomorrow.
Independent TDs are due back in Government Buildings this morning to talk to Fine Gael about political ad constitutional reform, health, youth services, childcare and the elderly.
And Finance Minister Michael Noonan is due to join the talks tomorrow when he’ll lay out the party’s position documents on the economy and housing and what is affordable.
Last night Fine Gael sources were adamant that Enda Kenny will only contact Fianna Fáil AND other opposition parties when he has an agreed programme of priorities with the Independents to see what support would be forthcoming.
Whether or not that will now be ready tomorrow remains unclear.
And Fianna Fáil’s decision to schedule round table talks on Monday and Tuesday – just before the Dáil is due to meet on Wednesday may see a change of tack from Fine Gael.
Micheal Martin’s written to Government Departments requesting that civil servants be available for the negotiations, which could go down to the wire before the Dáil meets.