Michael Devine (hunger striker)

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Michael Devine
Mickey Devine SMC.jpg
Michael James Devine

(1954-05-26)26 May 1954
Died 21 August 1981(1981-08-21) (aged 27)
Cause of death Hunger strike
Organization INLA
Known for Hunger strike of 60 days, from 22 June 1981

Michael James "Mickey" Devine (26 May 1954–20 August 1981) was an Irish founding member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). He died in prison during the 1981 Irish hunger strike.


Devine, also known as "Red Mickey" because of his red hair,[1] was born into a family from the Springtown Camp, Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.[citation needed]

In 1960, when Devine was six years of age, the Devine family including his grandmother, sister Margaret and parents Patrick and Elizabeth, moved to the then newly built Creggan estate to the north of Derry city centre.

Devine was educated at Holy Child Primary School and St. Joseph's Secondary School, both in the Creggan.[citation needed]

Political activities

After British soldiers shot dead two unarmed civilians, Dessie Beattie and Raymond Cusack, Devine joined the James Connolly Republican Club in Derry in July 1971.[2][3] Bloody Sunday had a deep impact on Devine.[4] In the early 1970s, Devine joined the Irish Labour Party and Young Socialists.[5]

Paramilitary activity

Devine helped found the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1975.[3] In 1976, after an arms raid in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, Devine was arrested in Northern Ireland. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He joined the blanket protest before joining the hunger strike.[3]

Hunger strikes

Devine participated in a brief hunger strike in 1980, which was called off without fatalities.[4] On 22 June 1981, Devine joined the 1981 hunger strike at the Maze Prison. He died on 20 August,[6] the tenth and last of the hunger strikers to die.[4]

Mural depicting Mickey Devine


  1. ^ Hayden, Tom. "Between Hope and History", Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2001
  2. ^ Tírghrá. National Commemoration Centre. 2002. p. 244. ISBN 0-9542946-0-2.
  3. ^ a b c Fallen Comrades of the IRSM - Michael Devine Archived 2006-11-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c Cowan, Rosie. "Why I had to let my brother die", The Guardian, April 1, 2001
  5. ^ Boddy Sands Trust. "Mickey Devine", Belfast, 2012
  6. ^ Melaugh, Martin. "Conflict Archive on the Internet" (CAIN), University of Ulster

External links

  • Text of Clarke Sunday Times article, April 5, 2009
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