One month has passed since the general election, with no government in sight
The deadlock between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over water charges may push the country towards a second election.
The Irish Independent reports that Fianna Fáil is set to dig its heels in and demand the suspension of water bills when Enda Kenny contacts the party to seek Micheál Martin's consent for a minority government.
Senior sources in Fianna Fáil say the single biggest obstacle to a deal is the parties' stances on water charges, and that they will not support a minority government unless agreement is first reached on that issue.
Speaking on Friday at a commemorative event for the 1916 Rising, Enda Kenny said that "the only way forward as a nation is to sit down together, work hard, and build a better future".
Acting Minister Pascal Donohue stated that talks will happen between the two parties at some stage and "we owe it to those who have an interest in putting together a stable government to see if a programme for government is possible. I would anticipate at the conclusion of those discussions and at a point in the future, we would then engage with other like-minded parties - which would include Fianna Fáil".
Fine Gael sources directly involved in the negotiations told the Irish Independent that the issue of Irish Water and water charges is not up for negotiation, and if Fianna Fáil demands the abolition of charges "then we're heading into another election".