A radical break-up of the Department of Justice into two has formed the basis of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s offering to Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin in a bid to avoid a general election.
The two leaders met last night in Dublin for the second time in 24 hours. The meeting broke up last night without agreement but it looks likely that an apology from Ms Fitzgerald, along with radical reforms to the Department of Justice may be enough to avoid an election, according to sources.
The Irish Examiner has confirmed that Mr Varadkar has agreed to break up the “basket case” department in a bid to end the political crisis.
Despite the talks, several ministers said they believed this Government is effectively over and are working on the basis that the election will take place on Tuesday, December 19.
Mr Martin has insisted on the resignation of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, while Mr Varadkar remains steadfast in his support of her.
It also emerged that ex-Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan telephoned a senior official in the department in May 2015 to inform them of her intended legal strategy at the O’Higgins Commission in relation to whistleblower Maurice McCabe.