Government formation talks are progressing, the Fine Gael leader has said, adding that the objective is to agree a programme for government by the end of next week.

Leo Varadkar said he expects a coalition government to be in place by the end of June, once the three parties involved have agreed a policy programme and secured approval from members.

Mr Varadkar said he had a "very good meeting" with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and the Green Party's Eamon Ryan this morning.

He said that as is always the case in the talks process, you can agree the "less contentious things first".

"We're probably at the point now where we're going to need to try and find compromises on the things that are a little bit more contentious," he said.

"But the objective is agree a programme for government by the end of next week and then be in a position to put it to the three parties' memberships over the course of the following two weeks and then form a new government before the end of June, and be able to pass that necessary legislation before the first of July".

"Certainly the parties that are serious about being in government are working very hard," he added.