IRA admits killing schoolgirl 30 years ago

The Provisional IRA has admitted killing a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Derry more than 30 years ago and has apologised to the girl's family.

The Provisional IRA has admitted killing a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Derry more than 30 years ago and has apologised to the girl's family.

Kathleen Feeney was shot dead just yards from her home on Quarry Street in November 1973.

At the time, the IRA blamed the British army for the shooting and said later that it had killed a soldier in retaliation.

In a statement to a newspaper in Derry today, the IRA admitted it was responsible and accepted failure to accept the blame had added to the hurt and pain of the girl's family.

Asked about the statement in Dublin today, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams praised the IRA for owning up to the killing. "At least the IRA is prepared to stand up and take responsibility for something which it did," he said.

But Ulster Unionist MLA David McClarty said the IRA's apology for the murder of Kathleen Feeney was 30 years too late.

"There is no justification whatsoever for murdering a child. However, this type of despicable and deplorable behaviour is what we have come to expect from the IRA," he said.

"Whist we fully appreciate the significance of this statement for the Feeney family and are mindful of their situation when is the IRA going to apologise to the family of the soldier they shot dead?" he added.

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