LOOKING into ways of keeping Sinn Féin out of power, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are proposing a so-called 'super grand' coalition between themselves and the Green Party.
Following Saturday's general election, Ireland's three main party leaders all emerged with a credible claim to the office of Taoiseach.
Leo Varadkar initially claimed he wouldn't be prepared to do a deal with Sinn Féin, and since the election, he's reiterated that claim.
Michael Martin also initially announced a reluctance to work with Mary Lou McDonald's party, but unlike Varadkar, has refused to double down since the polls closed.
Despite winning one fewer seat than Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin won the popular vote in Ireland, and as such will undoubtedly have a mightily strong hand in the negotiation process to come.
Saying that, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are devising a plan to form a government without dealing with Sinn Féin - by forming a coalition with the Green Party.
80 seats are needed to get a majority, and as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael only managed to secure 38 and 35 seats respectively, they would need to be propped by a third party in order to form a government.
The Green Party won 12 seats, more than enough to form a government with any two of the three main parties.
Despite Sinn Féin emerging as Ireland's most popular party, it's understood that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are keen to form a government which reflects the fact that over 75% of the country voted to keep Sinn Féin out of government.
Sinn Féin meanwhile are free to negotiate with who they please in order to reach the magic 80 figure, despite a reluctance from some to deal with them, for now at least.