Gerry Adams will not attend the funeral of Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price, it has been confirmed.
The Sinn Fein president said he felt a deep sense of solidarity with her family but, would not be at the service in west Belfast.
Price, 62, an unrepentant republican hard-liner who fell out with Sinn Fein after the party endorsed the Northern Ireland peace process, encouraged the IRA to give up its guns and embraced power sharing with unionists at Stormont.
Mr Adams said: "I am very sad. I have known her for a very long time. For her sons Oscar and Danny there is nothing worse than losing your mother so his sisters, her brother, friends I want to also extend condolences.
"Dolours was a long time in prison in England but she also was force fed for over 200 days and when you consider that and her own personal trials and tribulations none of what has occurred in terms of her parting ways with Sinn Fein and what she has said should diminish, at all, her life."
Price was found dead at her home in north Dublin last Wednesday night. Gardai said they did not suspect foul play.
Hundreds of republicans from across Ireland are expected to descend on St Agnes Catholic in Andersonstown - the heartland of Mr Adams' former Westminster constituency. Burial will take place at the nearby Milltown Cemetery where republicans have a dedicated plot.
Price, the former wife of actor Stephen Rea, was convicted and jailed along with her sister for the 1973 attack on London's Old Bailey courts in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured.
She spent eight years in jail including several weeks on hunger strike before being released in 1980. In recent years she clashed with Mr Adams over her allegations that he had been her IRA Officer Commanding during the early 1970s.
Price consistently claimed that Mr Adams, now a Louth TD, had ordered the kidnap and killing of Jean McConville in 1972. The Catholic mother-of-10 was among dozens of people - later known as the Disappeared - who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republican militants during the Troubles. Mr Adams has always denied being a member of the IRA. He said he was saddened by Price's death.