Significant progress has been made in government formation talks after negotiations continued until late last night.
Representatives of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party will meet again today as they edge closer to agreeing a deal.
It is now being predicted that a programme for government could be agreed by tomorrow, once it's approved by the three party leaders.
However, both Fianna Fáil and the Greens will need to hold postal ballots on any agreement as their members need to sign off on a deal.
Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne says "substantial progress" has now been made in key areas and the process is now in its final stages.
He said: "Agriculture was discussed last night, and there is progress being made on that an in relation to housing too.
Deputy Byrne says some of the issues remaining are "eminently sortable", and that the parties are clearly now moving towards a conclusion.
The Fianna Fáil education spokesperson stressed that his party has not called for any department to be abolished, although reiterated that his party has called for a department of higher education.
"I was involved in the negotiations on children's issues myself, and I'm confident there will be an outcome here people will be satisfied with."
The three parties are due to resume discussions this afternoon.