By Elaine Loughlin in the RDS
Sinn Féin's deputy leader has joined a growing number in her party in opening up the possibility of going into Government with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael after the next election.
Making her way into the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin's RDS this evening, Mary Lou McDonald said the party are now "ready" to go into power with another party.
"We are serious and our membership are serious not just about formulating effective policies but delivering them.
“This is not about signing up to say we want to be a junior party, this is us saying we believe that we are ready," she said.
She also said it is "not credible" for political parties to not put forward a position on the Eighth Amendment.
"We take the view that politics has to deal with all of the issues including the ones that are difficult, the ones that have a strong moral component to them and those are many issues.
"It is not credible for a political party not to have a position on an issue such as this which is an issue of public policy, it's a matter of public health, women's health and the objective of the Ard Fheis is to debate the motions in front of us and to arrive at a considered collective position."
Sinn Féin members are due to debate and vote on a number of motions around repealing the Eighth Amendment, including one which calls for members to be allowed to articulate and vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience.
Sinn Féin have come out strongly as a party to campaign for repeal of the Eighth Amendment.