Peter McKee Archive // County Down, Antrim, Tyrone & L/Derry
What is happening in the photo?
This photograph depicts a march in memory of the Bloody Sunday incident which occurred on the 30th of January 1972 in the Bogside area of Londonderry, Co. Derry. The incident occurred during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march; the soldiers involved were members of the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (1 Para).
The Provisional Irish Republican Army‘s (IRA) campaign had begun in the two years prior to Bloody Sunday, but public perceptions of the day boosted the status of, and recruitment into, the organisation enormously. Bloody Sunday remains among the most significant events in the Troubles of Northern Ireland because of the high number of casualties and fatalities killed by British regulars in full view of the public and the press.
In 2010, a 12-year investigation into the events of that day was completed and found that all victims of shots were unarmed and that the killings were both “unjustified and unjustifiable.” On the publication of the Saville report the British prime minister, David Cameron, made a formal apology on behalf of the United Kingdom.
Peter McKee Archive
Contributed by Peter McKee
Peter McKee was born in Balbriggan – he currently lives in Castlewellan, Co. Down. He is a self-taught photographer. This archive of black & white 35mm photographs were made by Peter during his time working as a community activist in Northern Ireland the 1970s and 1980s.
During the early 1970s Peter was an organiser for the Belfast headquarters of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (N.I.C.R.A). He participated in and documented the Civil Rights marches and the unfolding events at the onset of the Northern Ireland conflct. At times of civil disorder photography was a powerful tool for recording incidents and events. It was of particular value to NICRA in documenting abuses and counter official views of key protests, marches and subsequent injuries.
As part of his work for NICRA Peter decided to take photographs to record key events. His position as a community worker meant that he was a part of the community he photographed. His photographs present a different sensibility to much of the photojournalistic work focusing more on the responses to events rather than the events themselves. This substantial archive of over 4,000 negatives is currently being archived.