Kenny and Martin agree to postpone talks with each other until after attempt to elect Taoiseach

Fine Gael is continuing talks with a group of 15 Independents this afternoon

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Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin have agreed to postpone talks with each other on Government formation until after next Wednesday's attempts to elect a Taoiseach in the Dáil.

It has emerged that the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaders spoke by telephone for a second time last night after an initial call yesterday morning.

Fine Gael is nearing an end to talks with 15 Independents, and Fianna Fáil is to begin a similar process on Monday.

Acting junior minister and Fine Gael negotiator Simon Harris says the offer remains on the table for the two big parties to talk as soon as today.

He says that "we have brought this process to a point today whereby we will have discussed 13 different papers across a range of areas".

Talks between Fine Gael and Independents got underway at Government Buildings this morning.

A revised document on how to deal with the issue of housing and homelessness is being put forward after the subject was discussed for a full day last week.

The Acting Finance Minister Michael Noonan is also joining the talks to discuss economic issues.

Talks between the country's two largest parties are seen as long awaited progress towards forming a new coalition.

Yesterday's phone call between the two party leaders was welcomed by Independents, who have in recent days called for the two parties to meet on the issue of government formation.

They are also continuing to call on Mr Kenny and Mr Martin to hold talks this weekend.

Ahead of Fianna Fáil meeting the group of Independents next Monday, the party has also contacted others not spoken to by Fine Gael.