Clive Limpkin: Tributes to ‘boy in the mask’ photographer

Clive Limpkin in front of muralImage copyright
Museum of Free Derry

Image caption

Photographer Clive Limpkin has died at the age of 83

Photographer Clive Limpkin, whose photograph of gas mask wearing teenager holding a petrol bomb became a defining image of the Troubles, has died at 83.

His work as a press photographer in Northern Ireland spanned the early days of the troubles.

Mr Limpkin described his 1969 photograph in Derry’s Bogside as “the nearest thing I ever had to an iconic picture”.

Mr Limpkin died at home in London on Wednesday.

Speaking to the BBC last year, fifty years after the photograph was taken, Mr Limpkin said he had only take one shot of the teenager.

“Suddenly there was this 13-year-old boy in the picture, I think I got one snap of him and you don’t generally know if you’ve got a good picture, but I knew then I wasn’t going to beat that and I never got a better picture.”

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Media captionBoy in the mask: The photo that defined the Troubles

The photo was taken during what became known as the Battle of the Bogside, three days of rioting in 1969 viewed by many as the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Veteran civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann said he remembers “a very enthusiastic photographer” who was “intent on getting the job done” in Derry at the onset of the Troubles.

“He took that photograph and by so doing wrote an important piece of history,” he said.

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said his work while in Derry is “iconic and recognised the world over”.

Julieann Campbell of the Museum of Free Derry, where last year Mr Limpkin helped mark 50 years since the Bogside riots, said he had “helped immortalise our recent history”.

“Clive will never be forgotten here in Derry,” she said.

BBC News

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