A decision has to be a decision made on the model of farming that Ireland wants, the Sinn Féin leader has said.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics ahead of the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow, Mary Lou McDonald said that policy domestically and globally has pushed the idea of hyper-intensification of agriculture and smaller family farms have struggled badly.

She said the Government needs to support family farms.

Ms McDonald also said there is no sense taking out the "big stick to Irish farmers" if the State is going to subsequently sign on for the Mercosur trade deal with South American countries which will "flood the market with Brazilian beef".

The Sinn Féin leader also queried amid all "the conferences and the big announcements", how much progress has been made on tackling climate change.

"The answer to that is very little," she added.

Ms McDonald also said that people are dreading their energy bills and that the hike in carbon tax will simply put people under more pressure.

"It is not going to change behaviour," she said. "We have argued there has to be a moratorium."

She also said the State cannot "penalise ordinary households with hikes in carbon taxes" on the one hand while also "rolling out the red carpet for data centres that guzzle energy and are afforded significant tax write offs."

The Sinn Féin leader also said the decision taken on non-jury courts at the party's Ard Fheis yesterday is a significant initiative.

"I also think it was a necessary one," she said. "We have had emergency powers on the books now for 80 years.

"There is a recognition way beyond Sinn Fein those powers had to be reviewed".

She thinks they have made the right decision and where they are at now took longer to get to than anticipated.

"The best option will always be trial by jury. Our policy sets out you can have different options......but we recognise that in exceptional circumstances you can have a non jury option."

She accepted that these special circumstances would include paramilitaries who style themselves as the IRA going before a reformed non-jury court.

On the topic of homeowners whose properties have been affected by mica, Ms McDonald said regulation and oversight have failed..

She said if the State does its job correctly they should pursue the quarries in question and other stakeholders.

"We need to see the colour of the Government's money and to tell us very directly what they are proposing to do," she said.