Gerry Adams has told TV3’s political editor he met with the McConville family of west Belfast and apologised for what happened to their mother.
Mother-of-10 Jean McConville became known as one of the Disappeared after she was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972.
When questioned why he felt the need to apologise if he wasn’t in the IRA, he said: “Because I am a republican leader – I might not have personally been involved in incidents, I still feel a responsibility, and I do think it’s important that someone like me, as a matter of duty, if you like responsibility to people who have been victims of the IRA.”
When asked if the IRA campaign was justified, he said: “I believe so – I don’t believe all of its actions were justified.”
Specifically asked about the murder of Lord Mountbatten or the 18 soldiers blown up at Warrenpoint, the Sinn Fein TD for Louth replied: “I don’t think I should do that. We are trying to deal with the legacy of conflict.”
Martin McGuinness justified his own previous involvement with the IRA, saying he felt no option as someone who grew up in Londonderry in the early days of the Troubles. He said: “You would have had to have been where I was to understand – you will never understand.”