Talks between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael looking at government formation have concluded for the day.

The two parties said they "agree the need to form a strong stable government that will help Ireland recover post Covid-19".

Tonight, the two parties released a matching statement following what they described as a "productive meeting".

It also said: "They are working to develop a Programme for Government that provides stability and a working majority in the Dáil."

The parties are to meet again in the coming days, and say they will both continue to engage with other parties.

Earlier both the Taoiseach and the Ceann Comhairle expressed concern that the Oireachtas very soon will not be able to pass legislation.

There is sense this evening that progress is possible as efforts to form a government intensify.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael teams met for close two hours today largely to set the scope of the talks process.

There was a feeling within the room that any new programme for government would be different from previous ones.

It would have to deal mainly with the Covid-19 crisis, signal a recovery plan and identify general aims beyond that.

The fact that legislation cannot be enacted after the weekend has injected urgency into the talks.

This is because a new Seanad cannot be fully formed without the 11 Senators nominated by a Taoiseach elected by the new Dáil.

The Taoiseach said earlier that it is possible to form a government in a few weeks but it would require ten or more TDs from outside Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to support it long-term.

However, the Green Party has today again stated that it would pursue a national unity Government and not a coalition with just Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.