As campaigning in the general election enters its final phases, attention is still focused on Sinn Féin MLA, Conor Murphy, and his apology to the Quinn Family.

The party's leader said she was not trying to whitewash or "spirit the past away" and that it is essential the conflict is not "glossed over or glamourised".

Mary Lou McDonald said she remembers the "bad old times" and that people should never forget that, but she had taken a decision to "build politically for the future."

Speaking on Newstalk radio, she also described Paul Quinn's murder as "barbaric" but said any suggestion that Mr Murphy is holding back information is "entirely wrong."

Ms McDonald spoke to Mr Quinn's mother by phone this evening.

Earlier, the Fianna Fáil leader said Conor Murphy, now Northern Ireland's Finance Minister, should resign from the Northern Executive for remarks he made following the murder of Mr Quinn over 12 years ago.

Speaking to RTÉ News in Youghal, Micheál Martin said the issue was wider than Mr Murphy.

He said it was about the "machine that Sinn Féin is". He said the party comes together to protect itself.

Mr Martin said the entire Sinn Féin party needed to apologise to the Quinn family because he said "they made stuff up" about their son.

Earlier, Fianna Fáil's justice spokesperson, Jim O'Callaghan, called on Conor Murphy to stand down.

Speaking at the party's election headquarters, Mr O'Callaghan said the apology to the Quinn family should have been made over 12 years ago.

He said yesterday's apology by Mr Murphy was designed to protect and promote the interests of Sinn Féin ahead of an election.

Meanwhile, on a canvass in Dublin, Ms McDonald said her party is on the pathway to constitutional change, establishing a republic and achieving a United Ireland.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail today, Labour said it will not be a "cheap date" when it comes to talks on the formation of a government.

The party said it has five key demands that are based around prioritising public investment in health, housing and childcare, as well as action on climate change and the introduction of a living wage.

Labour is billing itself as the 'real deal' when it comes to change.

The party, which had seven TDs in the outgoing Dáil, is running 31 candidates in this election.

Making his party's final pitch for votes, the Green Party leader hailed what he called the "dawning of the Green decade of change."

Eamon Ryan pointed to what he referred to as the "wild Atlantic women" - a reference to a number of female candidates running for election along the Western seaboard - as potential gains for the party.

"We're no longer a small party," he said.

Solidarity-People Before Profit, meanwhile, has been calling on other parties on the left not to support Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael in the formation of a government.

Speaking outside Leinster House at the party's last scheduled press event before votes are cast, TD Richard Boyd Barrett said he sensed that a "political earthquake" was under way, where people were demanding an end to Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael rule, which, he said, was opening up the possibility of a left government for the first time.

Mr Boyd Barrett said he is appealing to those who have expressed fury at the two biggest parties to come out on Saturday and make their voices heard.

RISE party founder, Paul Murphy, said there was a huge desire for radical change.

He said Solidarity/PBP would use their votes in the next Dáil to block a Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael led government.

Reporting Samantha Libreri, Fran McNulty, Petula Martyn & Conor Hunt