I thought this was an opportune time to give you my views on the recent activity towards Government formation.  As the largest party following the election, we in Fine Gael are actively trying to form a Government that can deal with the many urgent issues facing us and we take that responsibility very seriously.

We had two very long parliamentary party meetings this week on Tuesday and Thursday as well as Wednesdays Dail sitting.  These followed hours of talks with independents which resulted in a detailed foundation document that can form the basis of further talks with them and/or other parties.

I was disappointed this week that Fianna Fail turned down a partnership offer straight away without even teasing out the details of how it might work in practice.  Even if Michéal Martin was surprised at the offer, he could have taken more time to consider its potential as a partnership government could deliver real stability.

It should not be taken for granted how difficult it was for Fine Gael people to make that offer to Fianna Fail, but we accept the results of the election where no party got a full mandate and compromise is needed if we are to create a stable Government and avoid another election.  I don’t believe anyone wants another election or that it will give us a dramatically different result.

Given the results of the election, no one party’s election manifesto can form the basis for Government, but that gives us a unique opportunity to create a new format for agreement of an inclusive programme for Government with those that are willing to compromise and work positively towards agreement.  I believe this programme for a new Government needs to be a formal written agreement by all parties to it, to ensure it is a Government that can govern with certainty.

Fine Gael have always put the Country first and we continue to do that by working with all those who have an interest and appetite to provide such a government in the best interests of the Country.

I continue to actively engage and work on constituency issues so feel free to contact me or my office if you have any queries or concerns.