Jack Clafferty

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An obituary written by Aisling Claffery for her father, a draughtsman who produced memorable images connected with the conflict in the north of Ireland (for the Guardian).

 

My father, Jack Clafferty, who has died aged 74, was the creator of a number of striking graphic images associated with the Troubles in Northern Ireland, most notably the familiar logo used by the Troops Out Movement, which featured a representation of a British soldier taking a club to the island of Ireland.

Jack, who moved to London from Ireland in the mid-1960s, made his images – from the early 70s onwards – as a result of a keen interest in the political situation in the north of Ireland at the time, but particularly triggered by the introduction of internment in 1971 and Bloody Sunday in 1972.

In 1973 he became a founder and key member of the Troops Out Movement and also played a leading role in the Anti-Internment League, helping to organise public meetings, pickets and events for both organisations while using his skills as a draughtsman to produce hand-drawn images that featured on badges, posters and in publications.

Examples of his work can now be seen in the collections of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast and as far away as the Melbourne Museum in Australia.

Jack was born in Buncrana in County Donegal, to Brigid (nee McEleney), a cook, and James Clafferty, a railway worker. The oldest of seven children, he attended Buncrana Technical school, where he showed an aptitude for technical drawing, leaving at 16 to work in a local builders’ merchants.

At the age of 18, like many of his contemporaries, he emigrated to England, where he found work initially in a printing works before becoming a draughtsman with a series of London-based architectural firms, including Meers, Pring and Wager, and Pollard, Thomas and Edwards, working with the latter practice on the award-winning New Concordia Wharf, an early example of urban renewal in the London Docklands area. After a move to Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire in the late 80s he began to work for himself before retirement.

Jack’s 1970 marriage to Anne Merryweather ended in divorce in 2004. He is survived by his mother, his children, me and Colm, and four siblings.

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