Published Wednesday, 16 October 2013
The Sinn Féin chairman referred to the bombing in the opening of his speech. (© Pacemaker)
Mr Kearney was addressing a gathering at St Andrew's University in Scotland on the political process in Northern Ireland.
"The legacy of the Shankill Bomb will stay with each bereaved family and our entire community for many years," he said.
"It is a legacy all republicans will share with deep regret and sorrow."
He told delegates that in the days following the IRA atrocity which killed nine Protestants in a fish shop on the Shankill Road in 1993 and one of the bombers, loyalist paramilitaries retaliated with multiple killings of Catholic civilians.
He said that "victims were created on and by all sides; by republicans; the British state; its forces and agencies and by unionists".
"All sides were part of the context in which the conflict occurred and continued," Mr Kearney said.
"Sadly that past cannot be changed or undone. Neither can it be disowned by republicans or anyone else."
He said in the background of this conflict were discussions that paved way for the Good Friday Agreement.
"The Agreement was a historic compromise between former enemies. It created a framework for the Irish Peace Process."
But Mr Kearney said the peace process cannot be taken for granted and warned that sections of political unionism "are opposed to progressive political and social change".
He said unionists have shown "poor leadership" during the last eighteen months of sectarian street violence and demonstrations.
On Monday First Minister Peter Robinson warned of the possible damage flag protests could have on business if they are held in the run up to Christmas - after traders lost around £15m worth of business during the last holiday season.
Concluding his speech, the party chairperson called for an end to "negative politics".
"An initiative of common acknowledgement by all sides - British, Irish, republican and unionist - of the hurt and injustices caused by and to each other could introduce a peaceful new dynamic to the Peace Process," the Sinn Féin spokesman continued.
"It could make a significant contribution to healing and create new opportunities for friendship, trust and forgiveness to grow.
"Of course it would challenge us all - that is what conflict resolution is about."
His words come ahead of a planned commemoration on Sunday marking the death of the IRA bomber Thomas Begley.
Some families of victims have called for the event to be cancelled, while Begley's parents have distanced themselves from it.
Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly had previously commented that republicans had a right to remember their dead.
© UTV News