The Fianna Fáil leader has said Ireland needs a stable government in place to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Micheál Martin said the outbreak will have “enormous economic consequences” with hard decisions to be taken in the coming months.
Talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil aimed at forming a government are due to resume on Wednesday.
Deputy Martin told The Pat Kenny Show that a new government is needed to make the big decisions.
“The decisions that will be taken will be quite fundamental in character and they do demand a government, I believe, that has the certainty of a majority and also the certainty of time to take them and deal with the consequences on COVID-19 and the economic decisions that have to be taken as a result of it,” he said.
He said party leaders are being kept in the loop on the response by the caretaker government – with a further meeting to take place this evening.
Meanwhile, government formation talks between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will resume on Wednesday.
“The talks will pick up this week,” said Deputy Martin. “Behind all of this, we can begin to see now, there will be enormous economic consequences arising out of this virus."
“Significant economic and social decisions will have to be taken in the coming months and I think this is a longer haul than people might have thought at the outset.”
He also warned that a second budget may soon be needed to provide the resources to combat the virus.