A brother of Shankill bomber Thomas Begley said the “unveiling of a plaque to my brother was not organised by our family”.
Speaking to the News Letter from his north Belfast home, Sean Begley said he and his family were aware of the hurt caused by the Shankill bomb and “are very sorry for what happened”.
“My parents – Billy and Sadie – are annoyed,” he said.
“They didn’t bring Thomas up to go down the Shankill and blow innocent people up. They are very very sorry for what he has done.”
When asked who or what the family blamed for their son getting involved with the IRA and carrying a live bomb into a busy shop, he said: “They blame the conflict and the war itself.
“People were brought up in different areas and people fall into different things. They have lost their son too. And they are very sorry for what happened. They are hurt and we are all hurt.
“They have never got over it and never will.”
Mr Begley, who has two brothers and a sister, said “we will be going to the unveiling of the plaque to remember Thomas”.
When asked if the family were behind the commemoration, he said: “It was not much to do with the family, it was friends who organised it.
“As my parents said, they didn’t know anything about posting things up about it.
“They had an idea there was a plaque but they didn’t know anything about posters going up. It is just the unveiling of a plaque.
“We will be going to the commemoration to remember Thomas. It is a quick remembrance to say we are still thinking of him.”
Earlier this week Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said: “The commemoration, which is not being organised by Sinn Fein, is being held within Ardoyne where Thomas grew up and was well known and respected. Everyone has a right to remember their loved ones and Thomas Begley’s family and friends are no different. Thomas Begley was not responsible for the conflict here – he lost his life as a result of the conflict he was born into.”
A second IRA man, Sean Kelly, who was with Begley in Frizzell’s shop, was pulled from the rubble from the collapsed building. He was later jailed for life, but released early as part of the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Begley was buried with full IRA honours in the republican plot in Milltown cemetery.
Earlier his coffin was carried by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.