Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: ‘Many people were hoping initially in the early days for a kind of quick bounceback but I don’t think that is going to happen to the degree that people might have thought.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil leader updates Senators and MEPs on Covid-19 and government formation

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has told a party meeting that the public may need to be told when the restrictions introduced to deal with the coronavirus crisis will be lifted. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fianna Fáil meeting hears need for public to be given hope in Covid-19 crisis

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Two main parties seek to entice smaller parties to help them achieve Dáil majority

 Alan Kelly: told his TD colleagues Labour’s post-election position of going into opposition should not change. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some believe Tipperary TD has matured and is less likely to bulldoze party to his view

Denis Naughten: the Regional Independent group is only interested in “forming a government that can last five years”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Four legs’ and stable majority needed, says Regional Independent group Denis Naughten

The Dáil will sit in the Convention Centre in Dublin if a vote needs to be taken to elect a new taoiseach.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Restricted Leinster House sitting after Easter will see Ministers take questions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been  clear that a third party is needed, not just Independents, to form a new government. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Greens’ internal issues have made Labour a more attractive option as coalition partners

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan: ‘We have flattened the curve, but we need to flatten it further.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Irish cases of Covid-19 rising at rate of 10% a day as global total passes 1m mark

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: ‘There is an obligation on us to try and steer  the country through crisis and on a pathway to recovery.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says document could act as catalyst for other parties to join government

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael negotiating teams hope a joint document can be finalised next week. Photographs: Nick Bradshaw

‘People have taken too much in the last 10 years,’ parties’ negotiating teams believe

It had been assumed that Micheál Martin would be taoiseach first but some in Fine Gael now think Leo Varadkar should remain in place to deal with Covid-19. Photograph: Niall Carson/AFP via Getty Images

FF and FG agree position should rotate between leaders and on equal split of ministerial jobs

Martin Fraser (pictured), the secretary general of the Government, sent a letter to his counterpart in the Oireachtas, Peter Finnegan.

TDs to gather on Thursday afternoon to hear statements on Covid-19 and related social protection measures

Green leader Eamon Ryan and the parliamentary party held a videoconference meeting on Wednesday. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Labour to elected new lead on Friday and has again said it wants to go into Opposition

Willie O’Dea  said any workers are also unsure if they are essential workers, as their employers claim in order to encourage them to attend work during the severe restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus crisis.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil TD contacted by workers concerned measures not being followed

Alan Kelly expressed a view that was in line with the ‘thrust’ of the general attitude of the meeting, according to a source. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Results of Alan Kelly-Aodhán Ó Ríordáin leadership vote to be announced on Friday

Fianna Fail  TD  Cathal Crowe canvassing in Milltown Malbay , Co Clare  during the general election campaign. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Clare TD Cathal Crowe makes call at party meeting held via teleconference

A woman wearing a mask at a bus stop in Dublin which displays a message “Thank you to all of Ireland’s retail workers.” Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Extra coronavirus checks on citizens returning to Ireland mooted but confirmation that Ireland will not close its borders

 Duncan Smith: “I don’t think at this point we should go into government, and it doesn’t change the mandate we got in February.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Opinion in Green Party said to be split between those open to FF-FG talks and those opposed

Michael Lowry: “If anyone steps into government, they are stepping in knowing difficult decisions will have to be made.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Members of the group reluctant to enter coalition with the two larger parties without another small party

 Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Bill includes abolition of planning permission for emergency health facilities

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  during  a press briefing at Government Buildings on Tuesday. He introduced sweeping measures to tackle coronavirus, including restricting all public gatherings to four people. Photograph:   Steve Humphreys/PA Wire

Cabinet is told that increased welfare payments and income support schemes will cost €300m per week for 12 weeks

204 new cases in State as gatherings restricted to four people and measures extended until April 19th

The Seanad election count takes place next week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Martin Fraser’s intervention seen as challenge to leaders to form a government

Pubs closed in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

State will pay employers 70-80% of a worker’s salary up to €35,000-€40,000

 The LE Samuel Beckett on Sir John Rogersons Quay is being used as a coomunity sampling centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cabinet to discuss ban on commercial, social activity and on all non-essential travel

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health pictured speaking Monday’s Covid-19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Significant new restrictions on movement expected after death toll rises to six

 Claire Byrne presenting her show on RTÉ One last Monday while in isolation at home.

Simon Coveney tests negative for virus after being in ‘close contact’ with confirmed case

 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on the Dáil plinth on Monday  afternoon. Photograph Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin urges Government to close all non-essential business

Tánaiste Simon Coveney:  said the Government is ‘going to introduce a significant and supportive economic package in the coming days that will go well beyond what we have announced to date’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Tánaiste says decisions on tightening restrictions will be informed by medical advice

Tánaiste Simon Coveney  with Minister for Health Simon Harris. Mr Coveney has said more funding will be available for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Coveney says more funding will be made available for unemployed and those at risk

Tánaiste Simon Coveney at a news conference at Government Buildings last week. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Tánaiste says agreement has been reached between BA and Aer Lingus to bring 135 citizens home

 Following concerns about people failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Wicklow County Council and gardaí closed public car parks and blocked access to Glendalough on Sunday. Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Warnings over social distancing repeated as 121 new cases confirmed in the Republic

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with colleagues outside Leinster House. Photograph: Aiden Crawley

Temporary national unity government to tackle Covid-19 crisis urged by Ryan

Members of the naval service outside the 3Arena in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Employers will be allowed to top up State’s €203-a-week unemployment payment

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald TD and Louise O’Reilly TD speaking to media outside Government Buildings, Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Green party proposal had been given cool reception by main parties but SF now open to idea

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressing media at a Covid-19 press briefing at Government Buildings on Tuesday. Photograph: Steve Humphreys/PA

Number testing positives jumps by over 200 for second day in a row, while another fatality is recorded

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outlining the new measures at Blair House, Washington DC, on Thursday. Photograph: PA

‘Acting together, as one nation, we can save many lives’: Taoiseach announces measures

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. The party says its membership base just two years ago was about 700 but has since increased to more than 2,700. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Senior figures yet to decide how to approach conferences if mass gatherings are banned

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin: she said her party would continue government talks if its  national administration proposal was rejected. Photograph: Brian Lawless

Measure suggested to tackle coronavirus given cool reception by Fine Gael and Sinn Féin

Green party  leader Eamon Ryan. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

All parties urged to suspend discussions on forming a majority government

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and  Minister for Business Heather Humphreys TD speaking to the media about the Covid-19 crisis at the Italian Room in Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Donohoe says plea is supported by ‘very significant’ public funds to tackle coronavirus crisis

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien has sought a meeting with the Land Development Agency  without Department of Housing officials present. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Move would dilute ability of councillors to block sale of council land for housing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Ahead of talks with Fianna Fáil, he  said his party was “needed to stand by the State and our Republic”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Varadkar and Martin look to Greens to join them as coronavirus weighs on State

The pressure to form a government amid the growing coronavirus crisis appears to have forced the hand of Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar.

Identical statements issued simultaneously by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael say detailed talks to start

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, during a media update on the confirmed case of coronavirus at Miesian Plaza, Baggot Street, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Republic has total of 34 reported cases as Irish airlines suspend flights to Italy

Passengers are checked as they leave Milan’s  main train station: Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the lockdown would be extended to the whole country as it was its  “darkest hour”. Photograph: Antonio Calanni

Varadkar delivers bleak assessment of potential outcome of coronavirus spread

The subcommittee also decided that all St Patrick’s Day parades across the country. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Varadkar says ‘up to 50%-60%’ of population could get coronavirus

Both party leaders  released a joint statement on Monday night  saying they discussed a ‘variety of policy issues’. Photographs: Gareth Chaney/Collins & Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Coalition between FF, FG, Greens, some Independents seen as most likely way forward

Sean Sherlock: ‘It is not feasible to exclude any party from the responsibility to act in the interest of the common good at this time.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Seán Sherlock supports calls for time limited administration over ‘unprecedented health crisis’

Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people is set to be cancelled this year in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

€2.6bn sick pay measures and business liquidity fund announced; stocks markets plunge

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: senior party figures  say the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael   should get two years each as taoiseach and  Ryan get one.   Photograph: Getty Images

New grassroots group in Fianna Fáil is opposing moves by Martin to form coalition with Fine Gael

The HSE says if a national public health emergency is declared over Covid-19, the cancellation of annual and discretionary leave would if necessary be considered by the National Crisis Management Team. Photograph: Getty Images

Varadkar urges operations such as businesses, events and creches not to act unilaterally

Micheál Martin faced a stormy meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party on Thursday, with calls for him to open government discussions with Sinn Féin rather than just talking to Fine Gael and others. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Group writes to TDs outlining ‘serious concerns for the party that we all support’

Signs at the entrance to Cork University Hospital. Photograph Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Number of cases rises to four in the North; hospitals impose visiting restrictions

Micheál Martin:  heard  several TDs voice criticism of  his  approach, with the disquiet spreading beyond those who are usually opposed to the Cork South Central TD. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil leader to continue efforts to form a coalition with Fine Gael

One Fianna Fáil deputy said Micheál Martin was ‘overestimating’ the tacit support given to him. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Criticism of party’s performance on social media raised at parliamentary party meeting

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (right) and TD Thomas Byrne after a meeting with Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cate McCurry/ PA Wire

Fine Gael still insists it wants to enter opposition after policy exchange meeting

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin is under pressure, as some fear he has become Sinn Féin’s best recruiter

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath: said  his party wants to begin formal government negotiations. File Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Michael McGrath says his party wants to begin formal government negotiations

The Cabinet has  considered a memo on  “managing climate risks to Ireland’s changing coast”. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister hopes plan will map places at risk and show where extra protections are needed

Micheál Martin last month told his parliamentary party that a new government may not be formed until April. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fianna Fáil deputies warn Martin’s leadership may come into question over the issue

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald arrives at a public meeting in Liberty Hall, Dublin. Photograph: Reuters/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Public meetings elicited curiosity, nerves and jealousy among SF opponents

A speaker drew applause at the rally when he told Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy he had nothing to apologise for. File photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

Newry crowd applaud speaker over remarks to Conor Murphy on Paul Quinn controversy

Sinn Féin rally at Liberty Hall. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘Nothing will change if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are in government together’

Sinn Féin leader  Mary Lou McDonald: “I think it’s much healthier to involve people, to report back to them, to take people’s questions, to listen to them, to listen to people’s ideas.” Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Sinn Féin leader criticises Varadkar’s comments and says Garda aware of threats made

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty speaks to the media alongside  party colleagues  Eoin Ó Broin TD and Louise O’Reilly TD. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Pearse Doherty says party using events to report progress on forming a government

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald: Asked if the IRA still exists, even as a political organisation, she said: ‘No, it does not, so far as I am aware, no, it does not.’ Handout photograph: Sinn Féin/PA Wire

Boyd Barrett says Garda Commissioner’s army council statement was ‘political intervention’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and her senior TDs say they want to build a government of the left but also want to talk to Fianna Fáil about coalition. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

SF continues to pursue a left-wing alliance, but some are sceptical of its aims

Social Democrats joint leader  Catherine Murphy: ‘I don’t think it is the type of government people told us they wanted.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs uneasy about Micheál Martin’s speech regarding Sinn Féin

Seán Ó Fearghaíl highlighted some of the achievements of the last Dáil including the establishment of a budget office to cost proposals, to emulate the congressional office on Capital Hill in the US.

Micheál Martin to ask Varadkar to engage in government formation talks in coming days

There is highly likely to be an unsuccessful vote by the Dáil for a new taoiseach

The 33rd Dáil will meet in what will largely be a day of pageantry and ceremony

Inside Politics: Day of ceremony will see new TDs arrive, Ceann Comhairle elected and failure to elect a Taoiseach

 Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar, Mary Lou McDonald and Eamon Ryan are all expected to put their names forward for Taoiseach when the new Dáil meets for the first time on Thursday. File photograph: Alan Betson

As 33rd Dáil set to meet, Fianna Fáil leader tells party negotiations could take months

Dáil chamber. Photograph: Alan Betson,

What will happen when the 33rd Dáil convenes today

One group, spearheaded by Tipperary Independent Mattie McGrath, is engaging in government talks. File photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin has invited Independents to talks on potential government formation

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (left) and Alan Kelly in the RDS, Dublin during the 2016 general election. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Kelly was deputy leader under Burton, while Ó Ríordáin served as a junior minister

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Fine Gael now saw its future in opposition. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

‘People voted for change,’ says Tánaiste, and it’s up to Sinn Féin to form a government

All party members have a vote in the contest to replace Brendan Howlin and the poll will take place on April 3rd

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has no mandate from his parliamentary party to enter government negotiations. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

FG leader says his party is ready to go into opposition, doesn’t rule out FF alliance

Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy’s potential move  indicates that the party, who now have six TDs, are likely to remain in Opposition. Photograph: Collins

Catherine Murphy weighing up standing for position when Dáil convenes on Thursday

Fine Gael has mandated Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to engage with other parties “to share our analysis and perspectives on the outcome of the General Election”.

Party says FF must coalesce with SF or others if Mary Lou McDonald’s party fails to form left government

Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator Pearse Doherty will seek to begin meetings with smaller parties and Independents on Wednesday. Photograph: Tom Honan

Feeling abounds that ‘numbers aren’t there’ for government without FF or FG

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: some senior party TDs  believe he would have to stand aside if Fianna Fáil remains in opposition. Photograph: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

Fianna Fáil TDs are of the view that Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald should form a left-wing arrangement

Micheál Martin at the   count for  Cork South-Central. One long-serving TD said Martin was likely to know his position was under pressure. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Mood within the party got steadily darker during second day of counting

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Phibblestown Community Centre in Dublin with Emer Currie  and Ted Leddy. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

TDs taking some solace in fact party has not been hugely outstripped by Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin  president Mary Lou McDonald addressing the media in Dublin as new Waterford TD David Cullinane looks on. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

SF leader plays down controversy over party’s Waterford TD David Cullinane ending speech with pro-IRA slogans

Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly, elected  in the Wicklow Count Centre, Greystones.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Cavan-Monaghan elects last two TDs putting Micheál Martin’s party on 38

Mary Lou McDonald was the star of the campaign, and her repeated attacks on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for, as she claimed, being in power together for four years were brutally effective. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

When the election came, Sinn Féin ran the best campaign of all the main parties

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin outside a Cork  count centre. Photograph:  Reuters/Henry Nicholls

Mary Lou McDonald tied Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to each other on issues of housing and health

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (left)  shakes hands with Sinn Féin candidate Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire at the count centre for Cork South Central on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters

‘I’m a democrat, I listen to the people. I respect the decision of the people’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casts his vote in Dublin on Saturday.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Analysis: On the basis of the latest poll, there is no obvious path to a stable government

A garda and an election official carry a ballot box on Inishbofin where voting took place on Friday. Photographer: Colin Keegan/Collins

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm with heavy rain forecast across country

Phil Hogan: he was close to the father of candidate Patrick  O’Neill, former Fine Gael senator Pat O’Neill

Party sources in Carlow-Kilkenny say other candidates were not aware the letter was being sent

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, during a press conference at the Institute of Technology Carlow. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil says Fine Gael ran ‘most negative campaign in modern Irish history’

Stephen and Breege Quinn at the graveside of their murdered son Paul Quinn at St Patrick’s Church Cullyhanna Co. Armagh. Mr Quinn’s mother,  has reiterated her call for Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy to resign. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Murdered man’s mother calls on SF Finance Minister Conor Murphy to resign

Conor Murphy and Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

SF president had denied Conor Murphy linked Paul Quinn murder with criminality

Sinn Féin’s Northern justice  minister   Conor Murphy, party president Mary Lou McDonald and Northern party leader Michelle O’Neill. File image: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Party’s finance minister in North says he ‘unreservedly’ withdraws remarks about murdered 21-year-old

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald during the final TV leaders’ debate on RTÉ. Photograph: EPA/Niall Carson

Inside Politics: Sinn Féin leader was confronted with comments made by senior party figure almost 13 years ago

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