FF, FG and Greens agree ‘most of programme for government’ in marathon talks
Leaders of parties set to meet on Sunday
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan near Leinster House in Dublin. File photograph: Collins
Green Party TD Ossian Smyth, who is part of his party’s negotiating team, Tweeted shortly after 4.30am: “The three negotiating teams agreed most of a programme for government this morning. A small number of issues have been left to the party leaders to decide later today. A lot of good stuff in there!”
The leaders of the three parties are expected to meet later on Sunday as the outstanding issues are discussed. However a time for that meeting is not clear.
On Saturday, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said an agreement on a programme for government “is more likely than not at this stage."
“Whether or not that acquires the support of three parties through their individual approval processes remains to be seen,” he added on RTÉ Radio 1’s Countrywide programme.
Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin also indicated a deal was probable this weekend, adding on her way into talks that a number of issues “need to be ironed out”.
Sources on all sides say that, barring last-minute hiccups, there are no substantial policy disagreements standing in the way of an agreement to form a coalition government, though talks on the precise text of the programme for government – expected to run to over 100 pages – continue on Sunday, it is expected.
If the leaders sign off on the deal it will then need to be approved by the parties.