Kenny open to talks with Fianna Fáil
By Fiachra O Cionnaith
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted he wants to open talks with Fianna Fáil in a bid to form the next government and prevent a second election.
The Fine Gael leader made the comments in his first public appearance since the weekend during which he insisted "nobody wants a second election".
Speaking at the launch of a 1916 rising museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin City, the under fire Taoiseach said that while people may have voted for his party to keep Fianna Fáil out Friday's vote means all parties now need to be open to talks.
"The proposition was to vote for the return of the Fine Gael-Labour government. The people have rejected that.
"The numbers in the Dail make it difficult to form a government.
"But that's what the people expect and as leader of the largest party and Taoiseach it is my responsibility to ensure that prospect is put in place, and that includes talking to Fianna Fáil," he said
Asked if his preference was for a direct coalition or a minority government, Mr Kenny said he has no view as negotiations have not taken place.
"We have not started any discussions about any options yet. There are a number of options, they're all difficult," he said.
Questioned on growing criticism from within his own party and calls from ex-Fine Gale Cork East TD Tom Barry for him to resign, Mr Kenny said the election has been "bruising" for everyone.
However, he made it clear he has no intention of leaving his post despite his party's difficulties.
"First of all, it has been a bruising election for Fine Gael and Labour. It's always difficult to lose colleagues.
"In so far as the rules of Fine Gael allow, it is my responsibility to abide by those rules.
"My job as leader of Fine Gael, which had the highest vote in the election, is to move on to what people want.
"That's why we are engaging now in the process of (speaking with) parties in how that might happen (forming the next government)," he said