The founder of the Progressive Democrats has said promises by parties that they will never go into coalition together should be taken with "two or three pinches of salt".
Speaking to RTÉ's Campaign Daily, Des O'Malley said he could foresee Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil going into government together after the election and that it could bring a certain stability to the country.
He referred to his own experiences in forming a coalition with Fianna Fáil in 1989.
He said his "instincts were entirely against" going into government with the party but that they had a duty to respond to the "mathematics of the election" and that it was what the people had decided.
Mr O'Malley said to do otherwise would have resulted in another general election straight away and that the party could have been "wiped out" for having neglected to form a government.
He said he forecast at the time that there would "never be another single-party government in this country again".
Mr O'Malley said he believed there was a gap in the market for another party "of the Progressive Democrat persuasion".
He said the recently formed new parties, such as Renua and the Social Democrats, were filling the void left by the departure of the PDs to a certain extent, but not in policy terms.
Referring to the recent Troika bailout programme, the former minister said he never thought he would see the day where the country would have lost a very large and important share of its sovereignty.
He said he thought the country was largely back on track but that it was still very dependent on the EU and on the EU staying together.
Mr O'Malley said he believed a British exit from the EU would have serious implications for the country.