Micheál Martin: Most TDs believe the Fianna Fáil leader wants to extend the confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael, possibly by another year. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

On Tuesday, similar to most Dáil sitting days over the past few weeks, negotiating teams from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael made their way to a room in Ag(...)

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin during the children’s referendum campaign in 2012. Those close to both men insist they share no personal animus. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The minute the email arrived on a quiet Friday at the end of August, those around Micheál Martin believed its contents were never meant to be confiden(...)

Leinster House: It is understood, although not yet confirmed, that the meeting will be held in the small room usually used by Ministers to host concerned delegations of various hue. It is, after all, neutral territory.

In a small room just off the bridge between Leinster House and Government Buildings, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are today expected to begin the process(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Given his experience and work rate, he remains the best leader available to the party. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Micheál Martin’s leadership is the elephant in the Fianna Fáil room. That is not to say it is under immediate threat, nor that there is anybody else (...)

Micheál Martin: he dominates Fianna Fáil but does not control it absolutely. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

For most of his leadership of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin privately accepted that he would be the first leader of his party never to serve as taoiseac(...)

Máire Whelan has her appointment to the  Court of Appeal rubberstamped by President Michael D Higgins, as crafty Leo looks on. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Taoiseach had a problem last weekend. He acted very decisively – with indecent haste, to be more precise – by bundling the former attorney gener(...)

Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin are unlikely to be the party leaders heading up the coalition – but anything is possible. Picture: Oisin McHugh/FusionShooters

The unspeakable has entered conversation in a most casual manner. So far, it comes in asides and afterthoughts, but not yet as serious discussion. How(...)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: Perhaps the biggest challenge the party faces is maintaining its strength in the face of significant change among its biggest rivals.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Six years ago, standing accused of handing the keys of the economy over to the State’s EU-International Monetary Fund bailout masters, Fianna Fáil was(...)

Ensuring the budget has a Fianna Fáil stamp: Party spokesmen on public expenditure and finance Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

For Fianna Fáil, Tuesday’s budget will almost be like a moment of collision with Fine Gael: the closest it will come to its main opponent before it re(...)

Up for the count: Micheál Martin celebrates his re-election in Cork. Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Micheál Martin has never been in a stronger position as Fianna Fáil leader. His position is analogous to that of Claudio Ranieri, the manager of ungl(...)

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