The first round of talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to agree a programme for government have concluded after around 90 minutes.

In a joint statement issued afterwards, the parties said they "hope this will be the first of many meetings".

They said they "have agreed to keep this process confidential until it is completed".

The leaders of the three parties - Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan - have expressed confidence that an agreement can be reached either later this month or early in June.

Today was described as an "initial meeting" in which it was expected the negotiators would order their discussions, rather than entering into any negotiations.

Arriving for talks, Fianna Fáil lead negotiator Dara Calleary said his delegation was "very conscious of the need for a strong government to guide Ireland through its recovery period".

He was joined by deputies Thomas Byrne, Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath and Anne Rabbitte.

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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said there was "no certainty" of an outcome in such a negotiating process, but his party was "hopeful" that core party policy could be woven into a programme for government.

He was joined by deputy leader Catherine Martin, as well as deputies Ossian Smyth, TD for Dún Laoghaire; Neasa Hourigan, TD for Dublin Central; Roderic O'Gorman, TD for Dublin West; and Marc Ó Cathasaigh, TD for Waterford.

The Green Party lead negotiator, Deputy Catherine Martin, had opposed entering into the talks process, due to what she saw as an absence of key details in the joint document from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Negotiating teams from the three parties met today at Agriculture House on Kildare Street, just up the road from Leinster House.

Additional reporting Mícheál Lehane