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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 08:54 GMT
Adams apologises to boy's family
Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry (left to right)
Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry died in the Warrington bombing
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said sorry to the parents of a boy killed when the IRA bombed Warrington.

Mr Adams made the apology to Colin and Wendy Parry whose 12-year-old son Tim was one of two children who died in the blast in 1993.

The West Belfast MP met the family at Canary Wharf in London, which was also damaged in an IRA explosion.

Mr Parry said coming face to face with the Sinn Fein leader was hard, but "easier than holding my son dying".

"It is infinitely easier for Gerry and I to talk than to fight," he said.

They were attending a debate organised by Foundation for Peace, the charity set up after Tim's death.

His son Tim died along with three-year-old Johnathan Ball in the explosion.

Mr Parry, who has two surviving children and still lives in Warrington, added: "I can say that inviting Gerry Adams to join me here tonight was not, as you might imagine, easy for me or for Wendy.

"But it was infinitely easier than holding my son dying. It was infinitely easier than carrying him for the final time in his coffin.

"It was infinitely easier than saying my final farewell to him with my wife."

During the debate at the Canary Wharf event, Mr Adams said Mr Parry and his wife Wendy had "borne their loss with remarkable grace".

Gerry Adams met Colin and Wendy Parry
Gerry Adams met Colin and Wendy Parry

Mr Parry said he believed the work done by the centre in Warrington and the Foundation for Peace in the past 12 years has been a "positive outcome from a tragic event".

Mr Adams also apologised for the hurt inflicted by Irish republicans during the Troubles.

He said the foundation was an example of how people who had been grievously hurt, were able to produce something good and constructive.

"I therefore want to acknowledge Colin and Wendy Parry's personal journey and how they have created this positive space from the place of deep trauma and grief they personally experienced," he said.

"Irish republicans - the IRA - was responsible for what happened that day. It brought huge grief to these two families, as well as to others hurt in that incident.

"The IRA expressed its regret at what had happened... I have also expressed my personal and sincere regret, and apologised for the hurt inflicted by republicans.

"I do so again this evening. This is the right and proper thing to do."

In 1996, Canary Wharf witnessed a devastating IRA bomb attack in the Dockland's area which marked an end to the Provisionals' two year ceasefire.

Two people died and the bomb caused millions of pounds damage.

Colin Parry on meeting Gerry Adams

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