Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Document deals with mechanics of how minority government arrangement will work

Fianna Fáil agrees to support Fine Gael minority government until autumn 2018. Photograph: The Irish Times

Scope for tax cuts and spending increases set to be well above €1bn, say sources

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny: courting Independents  to form minority government.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Assurance based on Fianna Fáil commitment to support three budgets

   James Reilly: approached by some in Fine Gael about the possibility of filling a Seanad seat. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sources say Minister open to idea of taking one of 11 seats in gift of next taoiseach

 Katherine Zappone TD has already voted to support Enda Kenny as Taoiseach. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Enda Kenny needs support of at least six additional TDs to be elected Taoiseach

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny: attended a meeting with Independent Alliance TDs on Friday night. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Independent Alliance being courted by Fine Gael in attempts to build government

The Fianna Fail negotiating team of Barry Cowan, Jim O’Callaghan, Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue outside Trinity College Dublin Friday evening after talks with Fine Gael on forming a government concluded. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Fine Gael insists party election promises will be reflected in agreement

Fine Gael said ‘both party leaders are now being briefed, extensive drafting has to be done’. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Parties issue statements paving way for minority administration 63 days after election

‘Nobody can stand over the present charging system in Irish Water, it is utterly regressive,’ said Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil TD says water charges ‘only level of disagreement’ between two parties

A commission to examine pay for the public sector is proposed in the agreement to allow Fianna Fáil to facilitate a Fine Gael-led minority government. PPublic pay review part of Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil dealhotograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil source describes commission as a ‘benchmarking-type process’

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are expected to sign off on the agreement before it goes to the two parliamentary parties for final approval. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Parties agree people who have not paid Irish Water charges will be pursued

Micheál Martin faces a challenging, medium term task to position Fianna Fáil  back among the middle ground voters.  It is they, after all, who will decide which party leads the next government, a position it covets.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Analysis: Party’s drift into political terrain occupied by Sinn Féin and hard left did yield a prize

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said there were many mechanisms to secure money from those who have not paid water charges,  including attachment orders. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says FF position is that those who have not paid charges should be pursued

Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, Pascal Donohoe and Simon Coveney leaving Trinity College Dublin: The emerging water deal will see a commission of experts established to examine issues such as alternative charging systems. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ministers tell FG backbenchers deal with FF only prospect of saving Irish Water

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. The party has indicated it is willing to consider the principle of charging for water at some stage in the future if water charges are suspended for a number of years.  File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Enda Kenny tells Ministers they have held their final Cabinet meeting

  Pat Deering: “It’ll be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as power at all costs and the re-election of Enda at all costs.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Move could be perceived as seeking to hold on to ‘power at all costs’, says backbencher

Fine Gael TDs Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald arriving for talks on government formation at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at odds over length of any water charge suspension period

 Fianna Fail TD’s (L to R) Jim O’ Callaghan, Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue leave talks between Fianna Fail and  Fine Gael at Trinity College, Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil struggling to reach agreement on key issues

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  and Fine Gael Enda Kenny. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Water charges issue is said to be preventing deal on Fine Gael minority government

 “I don’t believe any problem is insurmountable”: Jim O’Callaghan with Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath  and  Charlie McConalogue at Trinity College. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael negotiators fail to agree on housing, health, childcare and water

The Fine Gael negotiating team arriving in Trinity College – Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald and Pascal Donoghue. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Negotiators fail to reach agreement on number of key issues

Differences are understood to centre on health, rural Ireland, childcare and education and rent allowance

Fianna Fáil leader puts parliamentary party on standby ahead of weekend agreement

Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan on their way into talks with Fianna Fáil on forming the next government, at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson.

FG and FF agree resources will be split on 2:1 ratio between investment and tax cuts

Fianna Fáil TDs Barry Cowen, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath and Jim O’Callaghan  arriving for talks at Trinity College Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

FF TDs unhappy with compromises in outline of deal on future of Irish Water

Inside Politics: Smiling negotiators emerge from talks as water breaks at Trinity Dam

Fine Gael TD’s Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, Paschal Donohoe, Frances Fitzgerald and Michael Noonan speaking to journalists after leaving talks on the formation of a government between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Pact on water utility should allow minority government to be put in place next week

Leo Varadkar talks to the media in Trinity College after leaving talks yesterday: the outlines of a compromise were agreed. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Analysis: a compromise has been reached but minority government will not be easy

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: Department of Justice preparing emergency law following High Court ruling. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister to enact legislation after law governing sentencing ruled unconstitutional

Members of Fianna Fáil arriving at Trinity College Dublin for talks with Fine Gael. From left  are Charlie McConalogue, Barry Cowen, Micheal McGrath and Jim O’Callaghan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Issues down to ‘five or six net points’ says Michael Noonan as negotiations resume

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton leaving Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government talks remain deadlocked over future of Irish Water

Frances Fitzgerald and Micheal Noonan at Trinity College surrounded by student from Glanmire in Cork. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Two parties meet away from the ‘goldfish bowl’ of Leinster House

While Labour is cool on coalition, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have discussed the future of Irish Water and the charges

Burton and Howlin sceptical on prospect of coalition, with grassroots ‘very, very, cool’

 Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Party must come to agreement with Fianna Fáil in order to avert a second election

Labour leader Joan Burton. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil reluctant to back Fine Gael-led minority government with Labour as full member

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving at Government Buildings on Thursday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: A likely scenario is one budget will be passed and then the election countdown will begin again, writes Fiach Kelly

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin:  Continuing last night to canvass support among Independents for his candidacy for Taoiseach. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fianna Fáil cancel meeting with Fine Gael to exchange policy papers at last minute

 Independents said Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s move was putting a gun to their heads. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: High-stakes move tests resolve of Independents who claim to support Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin contacted  Independent TDs and urged them to vote for either a Fine Gael or a Fianna Fáil-led Government. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Move comes after scheduled talks between FG and FF are cancelled

Independents at Government Buildings following talks. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Inside politics: The Independents have been telling Fine Gael that Enda Kenny is the main stumbling block to doing a deal

“As the efforts to form a minority government reach a conclusion, the thoughts of Independents are naturally turning to finalising the best deals they can get.” File photograph: Getty Images

TDs pledge national interest in talks while seizing their chance for local gain

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Gregory Ellis and Keith Pascoe of the Vanbrugh String Quartet at the opening of the newly refurbished Kevin Barry Recital Room at the National Concert Hall last night. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Acting Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader meet respective negotiatiors before talks

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) has said it is his “earnest” hope that a government can be formed in the national interest. File photograph: Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

Enda Kenny talks up ‘earnest hope’ on forming government in the national interest

 Denis Naughten: said progress must be made  before non-party deputies show their hands for either Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Independent TD says progress must be made before he declares position

Acting Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Simon Coveney tells Shane Ross there are ‘positive reasons’ for no-show

Senior party figures  said Michéal Martin would not agree to a partnership arrangement with Fine Gael and Independents –  described as “coalition by the back door”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sources say party willing to discuss supporting minority-led government

Enda Kenny repeated his invitation to Fianna Fáil to join his party and Independents in a partnership government. Photographs: The Irish Times

Taoiseach repeats call for partnership administration

 President Michael D. Higgins: understood to be keeping abreast of the political situation. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Michael D Higgins can decline to dissolve Dáil

Acting Taoiseach Mr Kenny and a number of his senior Ministers have accused Fianna Fáil and Micheál Martin of putting party before country following the emphatic rejection of a partnership government by the main Opposition party.

Micheál Martin says he will meet acting Taoiseach to discuss minority government

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the Dáil with Dara Calleary, Charlie McConalogue, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Mary Butler, after his party rejected Fine Gael’s proposal for government. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny accuses Micheál Martin of putting party before country after bitter breakdown

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: “Committed to further building . . . relationship with China.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Worries that Irish vote at UN Human Rights Council will affect beef trade with China

Some senior Fine Gael figures have joked in recent days that they never envisaged being pulled so far to the left

Analysis: Big parties have moved position during talks with Independents

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney old the Cabinet his department had been contacted by the Chinese government expressing concern about a recent vote at the UNHCR. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Human rights motion threatens Beijing’s lifting of meat ban and trade of €100m

Acting  Tánaiste Joan Burton at the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin for the 1916 commemorations last month. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Burton to reach out to form parliamentary bloc with smaller parties

 Former workers at Clerys  protest outside the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Kildare street, Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Major new protections for workers are among proposals in new labour study

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Party must support a Fine Gael-led government or trigger an election

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Independent TDs are unlikely to vote for either Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin

Outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny and outgoing Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Opposition TDs may be asked to support government policies under proposal

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says it could still help with “formation of a viable government”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Party leader Eamon Ryan says Dáil numbers mean FG and FF must work together

The Government had indicated that the national children’s hospital, planned for the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin, could cost about €650m

Higher build costs due to inflation in construction sector cited in confidential briefings

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: due to meet the Green Party, Independent Alliance and a group of rural TDs. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Green Party expected to drop out of talks on formation of next government

Simon Harris, Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, Seán Kyne and Simon Coveney at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Simon Harris says acting Taoiseach will decide when to make contact with Micheál Martin

Election 2016: Housing is one of the biggest issues in talks on the formation of the next government. Photograph: PA

Party to table ‘Help to Build’ funding scheme for affordable housing at talks

John Bruton: “Like WT Cosgrave and Éamon de Valera after them, those politicians, Redmond, Dillon and [Joseph] Devlin, lived and worked for Ireland. But that’s apparently not romantic enough to reimagine by our poets and seers.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times Dara Mac Donaill

Schoolchildren should also learn of Redmond and Dillon, former taoiseach says

President Michael D Higgins addressing the Remembering 1916 event  at the Mansion House in Dublin on Easter Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Michael D Higgins says Irish republicanism has been far more thoroughly dissected

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny chats to President Michael D Higgins at the Easter Sunday commemoration ceremony and parade from O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Maxwells

Former presidents and taoisigh join Kenny, Higgins and host of dignitaries for ceremony

 Seán Haughey: ‘There has been no communication from the Taoiseach.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Fianna Fáil TD says ‘time is coming’ for his party and Fine Gael to talk

Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave  stands in front of a photograph of his father WT Cosgrave at the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre during its official opening. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Taoiseach opens GPO exhibition ahead of weekend of Rising commemorations

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the GPO. Photograph: Maxwell

‘It is my hope and intention to lead a republic where our society is indeed united’

Taoiseach Enda  Kenny said he was not averse to speaking to Micheál Martin to assess how the Fianna Fáil leader believes a stable government could be formed. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

FG leader will not relinquish position if he fails to win support for role as Taoiseach

Some Fine Gael Ministers have said they want Fianna Fáil’s support to extend for a certain period of time, such as two budgets. Photographs: The Irish Times

Sources rule out grand coalition but party still open to ‘serious negotiations’

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny is currently hosting round table discussions with Independents and smaller parties with a view to forming such a government. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Party, which is meeting independents, placed abolition of the tax at heart of election pitch

Fine Gael TDs Simon Harris, Leo Varadkar, Sean Kyne and Simon Coveney arrive for meetings with eleceted independents and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil ‘like a ghost at the feast’ of government discussions , Shane Ross says

Independent TDs  Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten, Mattie McGrath, Michael Harty, Michael Collins arrive for a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fine Gael leader proposes more Opposition input amid talks for government

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arriving at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Two main parliamentary parties meet separately in Leinster House

The Department of Social Protection conducted an analysis into the payments which found that a 10 per cent increase in limits would cost €31 million per year, of which €20 million would go towards people in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Figures show 10% increase would bring 40 properties in Dublin, Cork, Galway within reach

Social Democrats Róisín Shortall, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly say they would support policy and legislation deemed good for the country. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Party open to backing policies of minority government from the Opposition benches

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives for a  European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Laurent Dubrule/EPA

Enda Kenny’s proposal includes major initiatives on housing and health issues

Social Democrat TDs  Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Róisín Shortall say the current exercise of both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael talking to smaller parties is  only postponing the inevitable. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Party urges Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to co-operate to form administration

US president Barack Obama smiles as acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny presents him with a bowl shamrock during a St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House in Washington DC. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

Acting Taoiseach jokes he wished he did not have to return to ‘to face what I have to face’

The incoming Dáil, the outgoing Seanad and councillors – an electorate of about 1,200 – get to decide on 43 senators.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Ex-TDs such as Niall Blaney, who left the Dáil in 2011, are among those running in election

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny returns from a shortened Washington programme on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Number of Fianna Fáil TDs say supporting Fine Gael minority government likeliest way forward

Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caolaín, Eoin Ó Broin and Mary Lou McDonald: Sinn Féin favours the abolition of Irish Water and water charges. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Eoin Ó Broin says no party has outlined ‘detailed or credible alternative’ yet

Fine Gael  and Fianna Fáil will intensify talks with Independents and smaller parties this week to secure support for either Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin’s candidacy for taoiseach. Photographs: The Irish Times

Next administration may face €300m-€500m shortfall in HSE budget

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is to push for greater opposition input into how a budget is formed. File photograph: gareth chaney Collins

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael figures consider formation of minority governments

Independent TD Michael Lowry told The Irish Times on Friday he will support Enda Kenny for taoiseach, making him the first Independent Deputy to commit to supporting either the acting Taoiseach or Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.  File photograph: Courts Collins

Lowry ‘concerned’ other Independents have not declared support for Martin or Kenny

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae on the bonnet of a jeep outside Leinster House as the 32nd Dáil met for the first time. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Without agreement between the two main parties, second election seems inevitable

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: expected to  again talk to Independents and smaller parties. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enda Kenny not expected to contact Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in short term

 Micheál Martin has said the Irish people did not vote for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to go into government together. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish people did not vote for two parties to go into government together, FF leader claims

Fianna Fáil continues to insist it will not enter coalition with Fine Gael

Inside Politics: The only definitive result today will be the election of a ceann comhairle

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was approached by TDs seeking reassurance he is not contemplating coalition with Fine Gael, and he was said to be resolute in his determination he would not do so. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader has said he will not buy into Fine Gael’s grand coalition games

Fine Gael Ministers have agreed to approach Fianna Fáil on the formation of a grand coalition once tomorrow’s Dáil vote on electing a taoiseach is out of the way. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Party leadership believes ‘grand coalition’ is only way to provide a stable government

Independent  Michael Healy Rea: the Kerry TD met Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin yesterday and said he believed the only “show in town” was a Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael alliance.  Photograph:  Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Michael Healy-Rae says wooing of Independents and small parties a temporary distraction

 Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall. The party  said it has had a constructive meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in which a number of key issues were discussed. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Martin and Kenny meeting Independents to muster support for candidacies as taoiseach

Independent Alliance TDs Shane Ross and Finian McGrath will also meet with Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Kenny meets Ross, McGrath and others calling for package of Dáil reforms

Many in Fine Gael have acknowledged that its policy of outright abolition of the USC was not an electoral success. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

In any coalition, compromise will have to be reached on Irish Water and the USC charge

Changes to the structure of Irish Water and some minor adjustments to the charging system could be considered by Fine Gael as part of negotiations on forming a new government, party sources have said. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Senior party source says changes could be considered in negotiations for government

Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Friday meet members of the Independent Alliance (pictured) as talks  on forming a government continue. File photograph: The Irish Times.

Group willing to support whoever takes its ‘charter for change’ most seriously

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with fine Gael deputies on the plinth of at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fianna Fáil has opened lines of communication with smaller parties

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says water charges administered by a single national utility would be a fundamental issue for Fine Gael during negotiations on forming a new government. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says utility has to stay, but sources say compromise may be possible

Left to right: John Concannon, director of 1916 events; Maurice Manning, chair of the Expert Centenary advisory group, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Raghnall Ó Floinn, director of the National Museum of Ireland, at the launch of the National Museum of Ireland’s Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising exhibition which open to the public March 3rd. Admission is free. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach says charges fundamental for Fine Gael; Shatter expects election within 18 months

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