Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy is hoisted into the air alongside party colleague Joe Flaherty following the pair's election
Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has rubbished suggestions his party are "hungry" and "desperate to stay in power" as attention now focuses to the likely formation of the next government.
The newly elected Longford/Westmeath TD denied Fianna Fáil were hellbent on going into coalition with Sinn Féin or Fine Gael after latest indications showed they together with the former would emerge as the two largest parties in the 33rd Dáil.
Mr Troy said whatever about Fianna Fáil's fruitful two seat haul in Longford/Westmeath, there were still question marks over the party's all-round national performance.
"We certainly did our business in Longford/Westmeath," he said.
"We set out at the outset to run two candidates and to return two TDs. I think it's a bit early to talking about the make up of the next government because clearly we did not win this election.
"We had a bad election and while we had an exceptionally good one locally the final seat predictions nationally are very disappointing.
"We are coming back with less seats than what we went into the election with and that certainly was not our aim. What I have said is we need to meet collectively as a parliamentary party over the coming days to discuss the fallout, to discuss what went wrong and to see how we can come together and move forward as a grouping."
The Ballyanacargy postmaster was staying tight-lipped about what may or may not transpire over the coming days but was quick to dumb down suggestions Fianna Fáil were power hungry after its four year agreement with Fine Gael under the Confidence and Supply arrangement.
"Oh yeah, it was very rewarding the last four years for us. I wouldn't call that as being desperate to stay in power. We got severly punished for facilitating an unpopular government that we felt was necessary in the interest of Brexit negotiations. There was no perks and benefits for us. My belief is the electorate punished us for keeping Fine Gael there (in government) for longer than they should have been.
We are not the only political party elected to the Dail," he said.
"The other parties have just as much as a responsibility and a mandate to come together.
"They are the parties that are on the left and worked together on a transfer pact to ensure they maximised their seat return and there is a responsibility on them now to take up executive positions to do what they said is possible, albeit I don't think it is to solve the woes in health and housing and they seem to have all the answers."
Mr Troy alluded to what he described as "insurmountable differences" with Sinn Féin and other left-orientated party groupings and poured cold water on claims Ireland was staring at another election later in the year.
"But why?" Mr Troy replied.
"Both us and Fine Gael don't have a majority. Those on the left claim to have a majority, let them go and implement it."