Independent TDs to abstain from Dáil vote for Taoiseach

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Storm clouds gather over Government Buildings in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

14 Independent TDs say they will abstain in this afternoon's vote for Taoiseach, and will not continue talks without a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil deal first.

The Independents who had been in negotiations with the parties - the exception being Katherine Zappone - have reached what they are calling the 'Ag House Agreement'.

This was because it was agreed in Agriculture House next to Government Buildings this afternoon.

Despite Micheál martin demanding they nail their colours to the mast, the Independents will not and will abstain in the votes this afternoon.

But their statement includes a demand that Fine Gael show mutual support to Fianna Fáil and agree to support a Micheál martin led minority government - something Enda Kenny and his party have been dead set against.

And the Independents say they will withdraw from any talks until this is agreed.

Statement from Independent TDs

The statement also includes a demand that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil agree to support a minority that will last for at least three budgets

Another attempt will be made to elect a Taoiseach in the Dáil later.

It follows an effective breakdown in talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil last night.

The two parties effectively ended talks for now without any discussion of policy, though both remain ready for further negotiations in the days ahead.

Fianna Fáil says its policy document was not ready, while Fine Gael insisted there was an unwillingness by Fianna Fáil to engage on issues.

The roadblock emerged hours after Fine Gael's Parliamentary Party passed two motions: effectively restating its position on Irish Water and making it a redline issue.

It insisted that the only options were a partnership government or a Fine Gael led minority.

But Fianna Fáil insisted it leading a minority was still on the table - until today - and began ringing around Independents urging them to vote for Micheál Martin today as that option would then be gone.