The Sinn Féin leader says her party is on the pathway to constitutional change, establishing a republic and achieving a united Ireland.

Speaking during a canvass on Dublin's Moore Street, Mary Lou McDonald would not be drawn on how many seats she hoped to win in this election, but said she believed Sinn Féin would have a good election.

Ms McDonald said she knows from the campaign that support for the party is strong and people have been very engaged, but she said it was not enough for people to talk about change - people now need to come out and vote for it.

She said the campaign had been "an experience" for her as party leader and "great craic," but she said she will withhold judgement on how she views the campaign until she has the results.

Asked if she had found the past few days of the campaign difficult, Ms McDonald said any time you are asked to deal with something that involves trauma or family loss is difficult.

"I'm a human being, I'm also a mother and, of course, those are difficult questions to deal with but that's the thing about leadership, you deal with the hard things and you do your best to manage and to deal with, in the most decent way and the most fair way, the most difficult of circumstances, and it doesn't come any more difficult than a mother who has lost their child in such a brutal and a traumatic way."

Responding to reports of a dissident republican plot to blow up a lorry on a ship on Brexit day, the Sinn Fein leader said there is no pretext for armed or violent actions now, that the war and conflict is over and that there are mechanism to deal with the political dispute on this island.

She said there is no appetite anywhere on the island for a return to armed or violent actions and those that attempted this act know that "and I would say to them desist, stop it, you achieve nothing by actions of this sort."

She also said to republicans who are frustrated that the island is still partitioned that Sinn Féin has made great progress and is on the pathway to constitutional change, the establishment of the republic and reuniting the country.

Ms McDonald called on republicans to be constructive and recognise that Sinn Féin's political aims would only be achieved by democratic and peaceful means.

"To those that want to disrupt and harm, desist, stop it, go away," she concluded.