Since 1969, Northern Ireland has been the scene of violent inter-communal disorder amounting virtually to civil war, commonly called 'the Troubles'. Divided by religion, politics and history, animosity between Protestants and Catholics exploded into civil unrest. British troops were deployed to the region, who, with the local police force, were tasked with cracking down on offenders and restoring order. A counter-offensive was launched by community terrorist groups, notably the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). They attempted to make the province ungovernable, escalating their killing, particularly with car bombs. Both Catholic and Protestant paramilitary organisations attacked British troops, as well as torturing and murdering civilians of the opposite community.
From 1971 strong countermeasures were introduced and the British troops began to dominate Catholic areas. However, following 'Bloody Sunday' in 1972, when 13 civilians were shot dead by British paratroopers at a civil rights demonstration, attacks on troops became more intense.
Where to see this painting?
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
Chelsea, London, Greater London, England, SW3 4HT
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.