The Fine Gael and Labour leaders have publicly committed themselves to begin negotiations for an alternative Government to be put before the people before the next General Election.

Speaking at Belvedere House in Mullingar, both Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte said that the message from the public after the Local and European Elections was that there should be such an alternative.

In a joint statement, Mr Kenny and Mr Rabbitte welcomed what they call the 'Mullingar Accord’.

The two leaders said it was a good indicator of how enhanced co-operation among the main Opposition parties could produce a meaningful and decent alternative to the failed policies of the present Government.

The Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, said it was the responsibility of the Opposition to build an alternative Government that puts the interest of the people first.

The Labour leader, Pat Rabbitte, said that an alternative Government must reflect decent and humane values as well as possess competent management skills.