Statement following the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting

-   Fine Gael Press Office

The Fine Gael Parliamentary Party met for six hours today and had a detailed discussion in which everyone had an opportunity to give their view.

We are preparing to go into Opposition.

An Taoiseach and Fine Gael President, Leo Varadkar, told the Parliamentary Party that he relishes the challenge to lead a strong and effective Opposition for the benefit of the country.

In particular, Fine Gael will represent the interests and the aspirations of the 450,000 people who voted for the Party in the election and hold the new government to account.

The Taoiseach said he also plans to consult with public representatives and members about the future direction of Fine Gael, and looks forward to rebuilding the Party in the years ahead.

The Parliamentary Party agreed that the onus is on Sinn Féin to form a Government of the left with the support of independents. Sinn Féin has an obligation to the people who voted for it to show whether or not it can honour the extraordinary promises they made.

If Sinn Féin fails in that challenge then the onus passes to Fianna Fáil to form a government with them, and or with the Greens, Labour and Social Democrat parties and independents.

The Parliamentary Party mandated the Taoiseach as Party Leader to engage with other parties to share our analysis and perspectives on the outcome of the General Election.

There will be no negotiations on a Programme for Government without a further mandate from the Parliamentary Party. It will meet again next week.

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