Michael Devine (hunger striker)

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Michael Devine
Mickey Devine SMC.jpg
Michael James Devine

(1954-05-26)26 May 1954
Died21 August 1981(1981-08-21) (aged 27)
Cause of deathHunger strike
Known forHunger strike of 60 days, from 22 June 1981

Michael James "Mickey" Devine (26 May 1954–20 August 1981) was a volunteer in 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, Northern Ireland.

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.[citation needed]

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

Political activities[edit]

After British soldiers shot dead two unarmed civilians, Dessie Beattie and Raymond Cusack, Devine joined the James Connolly branch of the Republican Clubs 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[edit]

Devine helped found the INLA in 1974.[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[edit]

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, 19 August 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, 1 April 2001
  5. ^ Boddy Sands Trust. "Mickey Devine", Belfast, 2012
  6. ^ Melaugh, Martin. "Conflict Archive on the Internet" (CAIN), University of Ulster

External links[edit]