Minister Coveney says he is hopeful that new government will be formed by Thursday

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Minister Coveney says he is hopeful that new government will be formed by Thursday

Minister for Agriculture and Defence Simon Coveney has said he is hopeful that the new government will be formed by Thursday.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Coveney said he hoped that over the next few days Fine Gael can agree a partnership with independents.

The Minister also appealed to other smaller parties such as the Green Party and the Social Democrats to think about the role they could play in government.

“We want them to be part of theGovernment if they want to be,” he said. 

“We will accommodate their concerns and policies as part of that. But it is up to them.

“They may, even at this stage, want to sit down and talk to us seriously about how they could help govern Ireland with us rather than simply work with us from Opposition.”

“Likewise, with the Green Party, they will have three Oireachtas members now and it is difficult for their membership to get their head around going into Government when they were expected to be a radical voice from Opposition on Green Party issues.

“I don’t necessarily say it with any confidence that it will happen but I certainly would like to appeal to them to think about they could play a dynamic and potentially radical influencing role within Government in the areas where they are very strong.”

Meanwhile, Independent TD John Halligan has said that unless he gets a deal on cardiac care for the southeast he will not back a Fine Gael minority Government.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, he also said he has the support of his other five Independent Alliance colleagues despite pressure to support Fine Gael.