This painting depicts a crowd of civilians gathered round the blackened remains of a car that has been bombed. It is set in an unnamed village in Ulster, Northern Ireland. The artist Gladys Maccabe was born in Northern Ireland and during the 1970s produced numerous works showing scenes of civilian life during the 'Troubles'.
Click through to the Collections item to see licencing options
The conflict in Northern Ireland has bordered on undeclared civil war since 'The Troubles' of the 1960s. After decades of violent sectarian unrest, political and religious, by the end of the twentieth century, Ireland seemed to be on the road to lasting peace.
Open negotiations between the main political factions of the two communities, Sinn Fein and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), were welcomed at the start of the 1990s. The Unionists were persuaded that they would not be forced into a united Ireland. Sinn Fein recognised the British would not withdraw from Northern Ireland until there was a sustained peace and their military wing, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), acknowledged they could not defeat the British Army. PIRA launched a bombing campaign in 1992 as a demonstration of their power but called a ceasefire two years later.
Former US Senator George Mitchell then led an international commission recommending PIRA decommission its weapons whilst political negotiations took place. PIRA rejected this proposal, ending its ceasefire in 1996 with a bomb in London’s Docklands.
The change of governments in the Republic of Ireland and Britain in 1997 presented the opportunity to restore the ceasefire. This led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The agreement was achieved through the settlement of the contentious issues of decommissioning and the release of prisoners.
Since the agreement, the level of violence has decreased in Northern Ireland. Governance, sectarianism and community relations remain unresolved issues but it appears that the violent campaigns of the past have been replaced by political negotiation.
Sergeant Matt Timbers, a British Army official photographer at work in Northern Ireland during the late 1980. This photograph was taken in Newry, County Down, which is situated close to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, experienced regular paramilitary activity throughout the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The British Army maintained a major base at nearby Bessbrook from the 1950s until 2007.