The Taoiseach has cut back his St Patrick’s Day itinerary in Washington amid the continuing political uncertainty.

Enda Kenny had been due to spend two days in the United States.

He had a number of other engagements along with the traditional Shamrock Ceremony in the White House, but these are now being cut back and Mr Kenny will return after one day.

Separately, a spokesman for Leo Varadkar said the Minister for Health had cancelled his Patrick’s Day trip to Dubai because he did not want to be out of the country at a time of political instability.

Mr Kenny is now a caretaker Taoiseach after tendering his resignation to President Michael D Higgins last night at a ceremony that was not attended by the media.

A spokesman for the Áras said the event had been treated as a private meeting, while a spokesman for Mr Kenny said it had never been intended to be a media event.

The current government will stay in place until a new one is appointed.

The first sitting of the 32nd Dáil ended last night with an adjournment, after failing to nominate a Taoiseach.

From the 158 TDs returned to the Dáil, minus new Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Mr Kenny received 57 votes.

The three other nominations - Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and Richard Boyd Barrett - also fell well short of the majority required to be elected Taoiseach. 

Talks will continue in an effort to form a new government, but there is little progress yet on any possible coalition or partnership being formed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The Dáil will meet again on Tuesday 22 March.