Gerry Adams has apologised to Colin and Wendy Parry for the death of their son, Tim, in the IRA Warrington bombing in 1993.
Speaking at a debate on reconciliation in London at which the Parrys were present, the Sinn Féin President said the IRA was responsible for what happened and he apologised for the hurt inflicted by Republicans.
Earlier, Mr Adams met Mr and Mrs Parry for the first time and held a private meeting with the couple. Since the death of their son they have run the Warrington project for Peace and Reconciliation.
Before that meeting, Colin Parry had said that he was nervous about meeting the person seen by most British people as the emodiment of the IRA.
Mr Adams stressed at the debate the need for dialogue saying it was easy to talk to friends but that making peace with the enemy was a challenge. 'It was not easy for me to come here tonight', he said.