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  1. ITV Report

Shankill bomber apologises for the tragedy 25 years on

Sean Kelly said he was Credit: UTV

One of the Shankill bombers has apologised for the IRA attack 25 years on.

Speaking at a commemoration for fellow bomber Thomas Begley, Sean Kelly told a crowd he was "truly sorry for the loss of life" on 23 October 1993.

It comes days after hundreds of people from across the communities of Northern Ireland came together for a church service to mark the anniversary of the bomb.

The memorial event has been strongly criticised by the victims' families.

Begley, along with the nine victims, after the bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely when he entered a fish shop on the Shankill Road 25 years ago.

Senior republicans Bobby Storey and Sean Murray were among attending the tribute at Belfast's Milltown Cemetery, as well as several Sinn Féin members.

Members of Begley's family were also present.

Sean Kelly, who was badly injured in the blast, told the crowd there could be "no hierarchy of victims" as he paid tribute to Begley.

He said, "Everyone has a right to remember their dead."

Kelly kissed a memorial to the IRA man after laying a wreath.

Addressing the crowds, he said his friend was a "highly respected" member of the organisation but that the commemoration was not a "glorification".

"I am truly sorry for the loss of life and injuries suffered on that day," he added.

He said the motives for the attack had been "misrepresented".

Families of those murdered in the Shankill bombing have rejected an apology from one of the perpetrators.

Charlie Butler, who lost three relatives in the atrocity, has described the apology as 'hollow'.