Fianna Fáil's parliamentary party is meeting for the first time since the general election this afternoon.

It was revealed this morning that the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has contacted Micheál Martin looking for a meeting regarding government formation.

A number of high profile Fianna Fáil TDs have voiced their opposition to a coalition with Sinn Féin, including the deputy leader of the party, Mayo TD Dara Calleary.

Midwest News hopes to speak to deputy Calleary immediately after today’s meeting.

Marc MacSharry - Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo/Leitrim - says today's meeting will allow everyone voice their opinions.

Meanwhile five Independent TDs nationally have come together to form a rural Independent group.

Independent TD for Cork Michael Collins is one of them.

He says the group will talk to any party hoping to form a government, but they haven't been contacted as yet:

Speaking yesterday to Midwest News Sligo / Leitrim Independent deputy Marian Harkin said the 19 Independent deputies elected to the 33rd Dail are mostly rural based, and she is convinced that a grouping of rural independent TDs, focused on balanced regional development, could be influential in the negotiations to form a government. She added that it is very early days in the negotiations and she is only now making the first tentative steps in talking to like-minded independent rural deputies.

It remains to be seen if she will join Michael Collins and colleagues – Mattie McGrath of Tipperary, Michael and Danny Healy Rae of Kerry and Carol Nolan of Offally  -  in the rural Independent group.

Galway East Independent deputy Sean Canney is a Minister of State as a member of the present coalition government with Fine Gael.

This lunchtime he told Midwest News that he would describe as “dancing at the crossroads” what’s happening at present in terms of government formation. He did not rule out joining a grouping of rural independents but said it’s time to “cool the engine” and wait and see what the three larger parties are open to, following their parliamentary party meetings- Fianna Fail today, Fine Gael on Monday and Sinn Fein’s talks ongoing with left wing groups.




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