40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict

40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict

Jacob Miller - August 6, 2017

The Troubles, also known as the Northern Ireland Conflict, was a political and nationalistic movement fueled by the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Protestant Unionists/loyalists wanted Northern Ireland to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Catholic Irish Nationalists/Republicans wanted Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and join a united Ireland.

The conflict began during a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic minority perpetrated by the Protestant Unionist government and police force. The protests were met with violence by loyalists and eventually, British military troops had to be deployed, initially to support the police and protect Catholic civilians, but resulted in warfare that lasted the next three decades.

The main participants in the Troubles were the Republican paramilitaries like the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA); Loyalist paramilitaries like the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA); British state security forces- the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary; political activists and politicians.

The British government views its involvement in the conflict as neutral, trying to uphold law and order in Northern Ireland and the right of the people to democratic self-determination. Nationalists thought of the state forces as occupational.

The most significant event of the Troubles, named Bloody Sunday, was the killing of 14 unarmed male civilians by the British Army in Derry on January 30, 1972. Bloody Sunday greatly increased the hostility between Irish Nationalists and the British military and government.

The Provisional IRA, in 1972, killed about 100 members of the security forces, wounded 500 others and carried out approximately 1,300 bombings. On Bloody Friday, July 21, 22 bombs were detonated in the center of Belfast, killing seven civilians and two soldiers.

In the 1981 Irish hunger strike, 10 Republican prisoners died of starvation. Bobby Sands’ death, the first hunger striker to starve, resonated among the Nationalists. Over 100,000 people attended Sands’ funeral in West Belfast and there were riots in the wake of his death.

The Troubles were brought to an end by the declaration of ceasefires in 1997 after the Manchester Bombing, by most paramilitary organizations, the decommissioning of the IRA’s weapons, police reform, the withdrawal of the British Army from the streets, and the Irish border as agreed by the signatories of the Belfast Agreement, more commonly known as the Good Friday Agreement.

More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict. 52% of those killed were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, 16% were paramilitary group members.

Also Read: Bloody Sunday Shootings In Northern Ireland (1972)

40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. 1971. A British soldier speaking with a young boy. Usually, children and soldiers are on opposite sides during street riots. Bruno Barbey
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
Father James Chesney was suspected of taking part in an IRA bomb attack in Claudy which killed nine people on 31st July 1972. In 2010 Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said he was “profoundly sorry that Father Chesney was not properly investigated… and that the victims and their families have been denied justice”.BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
The Ulster Volunteer Force shot dead three members of the popular Miami Show band in July 1975 on a country road after a gig in County Down. Two of their attackers also died when a bomb they were planting on the band’s van exploded prematurely. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
In January 1976 gunmen stopped a minibus carrying textile workers home in rural County Armagh. Eleven Protestant workmen were lined up and shot. A Catholic workman was unharmed and one other man survived despite having been shot 18 times. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
An IRA bomb targeting a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen in County Fermanagh killed 11 people in November 1987. The scale of condemnation prompted the IRA to release a statement the following day expressing their “deep regret” at the results of the blast. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
21 July 1972 became known as Bloody Friday after at least 20 bombs were planted and detonated by the IRA’s Belfast brigade. Nine people were killed and more than 130 injured in the attacks. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
A Belfast man on patrol for the Irish Republican Army, 1987. Pacemaker Press International: Belfast Telegraph Archive
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
A British soldier drags a Catholic protester during the “Bloody Sunday” killings. THOMPSON: AFP: Getty Images
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
An IRA firebomb killed 12 people when it exploded in the restaurant of the La Mon Hotel on the outskirts of east Belfast in February 1978. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
G.B. NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. A little girl is confronted by armed British soldiers at a check point. A. Abbas
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
GB. NORTHERN IRELAND. Londonderry. British soldiers drag ringleaders from the rock throwing mob and beat them severely. 1971. Ian Berry
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
In December 1971 a loyalist bomb killed 15 people, all Catholic civilians, in McGurk’s bar in north Belfast. A Historical Enquiries Team (HET) review of the police investigation into the bombing was completed last December. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
N. IRELAND. Belfast. Anderstown. 1972. The IRA response to Bloody Sunday [the day after]. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Derry: Londonderry. 30th January 1972. A victim, Barney McGuigan, lies in a pool of blood as the shooting stops on Bloody Sunday. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Derry. Rioters throw stones at a British armored car. 1972. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Londonderry. 1971. Street fighting against British soldiers. Bruno Barbey
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Londonderry. 1972. Demonstration at Armagh. Burial of victims of Bloody Sunday. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Londonderry. Irish Youth and British soldiers come face to face. 1971. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. West Belfast. IRA gunmen walk freely in Casement Park at a rally to mark the 10th anniversary of British Troops arriving. 1997. Chris Steele-Perkins

40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
Paramedics treat victims of the shooting Four men and a teenage boy were shot dead on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast in February 1992. Gunmen from the loyalist Ulster Freedom Fighters burst into Sean Graham’s bookmakers and opened fire. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
The bloodied floor of the Heights Bar In June 1994 Ulster Volunteer Force gunmen shot dead six men in The Heights Bar in Loughinisland, County Down. The men were watching a World Cup football match. The oldest victim was 87-year-old. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
The damage on Dublin’s Talbot St., caused by the second of the four bombs set off during the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Wikimedia Commons
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
The Shankill Road bomb killed nine Protestant civilians in Belfast in October 1993. One of the IRA bombers also died in the blast which destroyed Frizzell’s fish shop on a Saturday afternoon. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
This image of Tom MacFarlane was taken shortly after a bomb attack in March 1972 killed two women and injured 130 people. Although no-one claimed responsibility for the attack on a crowded restaurant, the IRA is believed to have been responsible. BBC
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Derry / Londonderry. 30th January 1972. As the shooting starts on Bloody Sunday, people fall to the ground. Gilles Peress
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
G.B. Northern Ireland. Londonderry. Riots following the deaths of two Catholic teenagers who were accidentally killed by British Army troops who drove into a group of rioters hurling petrol bombs. The rioters throw rocks and petrol bombs and the police respond with plastic bullets. 1981. A young rioter prepares to throw a petrol bomb at some British soldiers. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
U.K. NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. The funeral of Bobby SANDS, following his death as a result of a hunger strike while in the Maze prison, to demand the recognition of Republicans in jails in Northern Ireland as political prisoners. Bobby Sands was a member of the Provisional IRA and was elected an MP at Westminster. 1981.
Riots following Bobby Sands’ death after a 66-day hunger strike. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
G.B. NORTHERN IRELAND. Londonderry. Ten years after the arrival of British troops in the province. The barricades are once more dividing Catholics and Protestants in areas of Belfast and Londonderry. Children eating their ice creams while soldiers patrol the streets of Londonderry. 1979. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
G.B. NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. The Queen’s Jubilee riots. 1977. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
G.B. NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. The Queen’s Jubilee riots. An armed escort, and a volley of shots, for the funeral of an IRA member. 1977. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
GB. NORTHERN IRELAND. 1973. The incongruities of daily life in the urban war zone. For years, the people of Northern Ireland lived in a strange and strained symbiosis with the occupying British army. Philip Jones Griffiths
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
GB. Northern Ireland. Belfast. The Queen’s Jubilee riots. Republican youth with a gun. 1977. Peter Marlow
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
GB. NORTHERN IRELAND. Shopping over the watchful eye of the ever-present British soldier. 1973. Philip Jones Griffiths
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
A young Catholic rioter throws a stone at a British armored jeep during a rally in Londonderry protesting the recent Bloody Sunday killings. March 2, 1972. Getty Images
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. 1997. A “peace wall”, erected by the British authorities, separate Catholics (left) from Protestants. It runs on the back garden of a middle-class housing estate. A. Abbas
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
Female IRA fighter with an FN FAL during The Troubles, Northern Ireland. Reddit
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
Flames leap from Westminster Hall at the House of Commons in London after an IRA bomb exploded there. June 17, 1974. Chris Ware: Keystone: Getty Images
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
NORTHERN IRELAND. Milltown Cemetery, West Belfast. 1988. Mourners at a Republican funeral flee for cover as they are attacked by a Michael Stone, an Ulster loyalist and UDA volunteer. Chris Steele-Perkins
40 Photographs of The Troubles, The Northern Ireland Conflict
Royal Engineer EOD Technician makes “The Long Walk” towards a van bomb on the Old Park Road Belfast, Northern Ireland in the late 80s. The curb painting marks the tribal division of a Protestant and Catholic interface. Imgur

 

Sources For Further Reading:

Encyclopedia Britannica – The Troubles

Council on Foreign Relations – Moving Past the Troubles: The Future of Northern Ireland Peace

Imperial War Museum – What You Need To Know About The Troubles

Forces – What Led To The Troubles In Northern Ireland?

NYTimes – The Ghosts of Northern Ireland’s Troubles Are Back. What’s Going On?

BBC News – NI Riots: What Is Behind The Violence In Northern Ireland?

BBC News – Bloody Sunday: What happened on Sunday 30 January 1972?

The Washington Post – Ulster Loyalists Are Burning Buses And Cars In Belfast

BBC News – Bobby Sands: The Hunger Strike That Changed The Course Of N Ireland’s Conflict

Irish Central – Tributes To Irish Hunger Strikers Appear Around New York

Rochester University – 100 Years On: The Partition Of Ireland Explained

VOX – Northern Ireland Is In The Midst Of Its Heaviest Unrest In Years

History Collection – Riots and Civil Unrest that Shook History

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