Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out making any deal with independent Michael Lowry in establishing any future government.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Kenny said he would "not have any dealings with Michael Lowry or any other independent" and his proposition was for a return of the Fine Gael/Labour government.

He also said he would allow Fine Gael members to have a free vote on the outcome of a citizens assembly on the Eighth Amendment in any future Dáil debate on the matter.

He said the matter needed to be dealt with sensitively and a consensus agreed before any changes to the Constitution could be considered.

Mr Kenny admitted the outgoing coalition "didn't fulfil our promise" to end the two-tier health system, as promised in the 2011 Programme for Government.

"We had a concept of being able to introduce Universal Health Insurance - we haven't been able to meet that," he said. 

He said dismantling the HSE, developing primary healthcare centres, community health services and investing in emergency departments would continue under a Fine Gael government.

But Mr Kenny said it was a priority to introduce universal health care.

He said it was also an ambition to introduce free GP care to minors, another pre-election promise in 2011. 

"We failed to deliver it in the lifetime of this Government, we hope to deliver it in the lifetime of the next government."

In relation to a possible Brexit, the Taoiseach said Ireland could suffer the most if the UK were to leave Europe.

"We've a billion in trade across the Irish sea every week. This could be seen as probably Ireland potentially ... suffering the most of any because of a British decision to leave the European Union.

"I hope that doesn't happen, we've worked very very hard and will work hard with our European colleagues to see that Britain has every opportunity to stay in. We work hard with Irish interests in Britain because this is about trade both ways.

"Britain is Ireland's biggest importer of food and we're their biggest importer of food" he said.

When asked about the Taoiseach's comments, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said: "We are campaigning to stop those people with their shopping lists and put an end to the instability that they would bring to government."

He pledged to continue to with "the stable, steady progress we are making".

He added: "We want a return to this government. We don't want truck with those who would undermine the steady progress we are making."

Sinn Féin and Labour have both formally launched their election campaigns. 

Speaking at his party's launch Gerry Adams accused Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil of basing their manifesto on lies. 

Mr Adams has said the way Taoiseach talked about economic jargon shows that he thinks the electorate is stupid.

He also repeated the party's pledge not to go into government as a junior partner with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.

He said nobody should be afraid of a government lead by Sinn Féin.

He also said he believed that Fine Gael and Labour had deliberately deceived the electorate rather than made a mistake when calculating the fiscal space.

Pearse Doherty said the party's manifesto, which will be unveiled next week, commits to restore some of the cuts made by this government and increasing social welfare.

Mary Lou McDonald said the party also proposes to honour the Landsdowne Agreement on public service pay but that in the future it wants to prioritise low and middle income workers in the public service and the issue of pay equalisation in professions such as teaching.

'A time for caution and care' - Burton

The Labour Party used its official campaign launch to attack Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein and smaller alliances.

Deputy leader Alan Kelly warned the electorate against taking a "gamble."

Party leader Joan Burton said Fianna Fáil had a "brass neck" and continued to make "sleeveen comments" about the economy, which they had ruined.

Brendan Howlin said the Irish people "have much more to fear from Fianna Fáil than anything else."

The party used its campaign launch to reach out to "progressive voters" and highlighted its plans to reduce the national debt to below 75% of GDP, deliver the smallest class sizes in Ireland's history, and open up 110,000 social houses.

Ms Burton said "everything was costed and cross checked."

"This is not a time to take risks. It's a time for caution and care," she said.

Mr Howlin confirmed that €10.1bn is the fiscal space "in net terms."

Social Democrats launch election campaign

The Social Democrats party focused on the cost of living at its election launch this morning.

One of the party leaders, Catherine Murphy, said the party wants to put more money back in people's pockets in "an even way".

The party says it aims to reduce the cost of childcare, introduce free primary education, and reduce the cost of prescription charges - which Ms Murphy said was an issue being raised on the doorsteps - particularly by pensioners.

Regarding transport, the party says it wants to direct money towards services which means putting money towards the cost of people getting to work rather than it going back into service providers.

Róisín Shortall who is also a leader said another big aim of the party is to tackle rising insurance costs.

Deadline to register to vote on 9 February 

Anyone who is not registered to vote is being urged to do so before deadline of 5pm Tuesday 9 February.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Cork County Returning Officer Sinead McNamara said those who are unsure as to whether they are registered to vote can check at checktheregister.ie.

Ms McNamara said if your name is not on the register then you must apply to be included on the supplementary register.

She said forms are available from post offices, garda stations and public libraries. They can also be downloaded from the Department of the Environment, checktheregister.ie and local-authority websites. 

A declaration of identity has to filled out at a local garda station. "If that's not possible you can also get if filled out at the registration authority, it's basically the local authority" she said.

For those who need a postal vote, a declaration on the form must also be made to explain why you cannot make it to a polling station. The deadline for postal votes registration is today at 5pm.