30 June 2005 Edition

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IRA apologises to Feeney family

The IRA in Derry has apologised 'unreservedly' to the family of 14-year-old schoolgirl Kathleen Feeney for her death in a shooting incident in Derry in November 1973.

In a statement released to a Derry newspaper the IRA accepted responsibility for Feeney's death.

The statement read. "The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann had been asked by the Feeney family to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of their sister and to publicly acknowledge that she was killed by the IRA. The IRA leadership agreed to do so. We found, as the Feeney family have always believed, that Kathleen was hit by one of the shots fired by an IRA Active Service Unit that had fired upon a British foot patrol in the Lecky Road area. The IRA accepts responsibility for the death of Kathleen Feeney. Our failure to publicly accept responsibility for her death until now has only added to the hurt and pain of the Feeney family. The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann wish to apologise unreservedly to the family for the death of Kathleen and for all the grief that our actions have caused to them."

"The IRA's acceptance of responsibility for the death of Kathleen Feeney in November 1973 is a welcome development," said Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney. "As stated in the IRA statement, it resulted from a request by the family to have the circumstances of Kathleen's death clarified.

"The IRA has now responded to the family and I believe that the Feeney family are satisfied by the outcome. I can only reiterate the hope of the family that this development now helps them to bring closure to this tragic episode in their lives."

An Phoblacht
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