FIANNA Fáil will today embark on a major charm offensive with Fine Gael in an effort to form a new government in the Republic after its parliamentary party agreed not to enter into talks with Sinn Féin.

While Micheál Martin signalled after the election that he was potentially amenable to talking to Mary Lou McDonald about sharing power, Fianna Fáil TDs yesterday rejected the proposition.

Mr Martin’s high-risk strategy to woo Fine Gael could see the southern electorate back at the polls if Leo Varadkar fails to respond positively to his overtures and Sinn Féin fails to form an alternative government.

Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney has already indicated that his party will not prop up Fianna Fáil in a confidence and supply arrangement – the reverse situation to what sustained the Dublin government in the last mandate.

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Irish News