Gerry Adams faces calls to make apology over 1998 IRA attack

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption An apology from Gerry Adams would have caused Andrew Kearney's family to suffer "a lot less heartache", the victim's sister has said

The sister of a man who died after being shot in the leg by the IRA has called on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to make a public apology.

Andrew Kearney, 33, from west Belfast, bled to death after he was shot three times in 1998.

In a RTÉ programme, his sister Eleanor King said she met Mr Adams.

"He should have come forward and told the IRA what to do, as in to admit it publicly," Mrs King said.

"And, yes, give a public apology.

"And in my opinion, if he had done that, even if he didn't call for anybody to be arrested or anything, but just even the public apology and the public acceptance, it would have caused the family a lot less heartache over the years."

Earlier, a Sinn Féin spokesman declined to comment, saying the party had yet to see the programme.

But later, in a tweet Mr Adams said that he had said the attack on Mr Kearney was "wrong at that time".

"It is still wrong," he added.

Also featured in the programme was Thomas Marley, whose son Gerard died by suicide in 1997 after he was the victim of two paramilitary-style attacks.

Gerard was from the Divis area of west Belfast and was involved in so-called joyriding.

His father said: "[The IRA] kept on doing it, killing people with their shotguns, blowing legs off, using bars.

"They thought it was fun, it was the right thing. But it wasn't," he added.

During the Troubles, most of the attacks took place in north and west Belfast.

What began in republican areas was copied by loyalists.