Died on Hunger Strike on 20 August 1981
Michael James Devine was born on 26th May 1954 in
Springtown, just outside of Derry city. He grew up in the Creggan
area of Derry, where he was raised by his sister Margaret and her
husband after both parents died unexpectedly when he was age 11.
Mickey was witness to the civil rights marches of the late 1960s in
Derry in which civilians were often brutally attacked and the trauma
of Bloody Sunday. In fact, Mickey himself was hospitalised twice
because of police brutality. In the early 70s, Mickey joined the
Labour Party and the Young Socialists. Then in 1975, Mickey helped
form the INLA.
In 1976 he was arrested, and sentenced in 1977 to 12 years after an
arms raid in County Donegal; he immediately joined the blanket
protest. While on hunger strike an appeal to Irish workers he
drafted was smuggled out of Long Kesh and it was this letter to
Irish workers that was read at factory gates throughout Ireland.
Mickey was 60 days on hunger strike; he was the third INLA Volunteer
to join the hunger strike and died at 7:50am on 20th August 1981.