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Michael Devine

Irish hunger striker
The basics
Date of birth Londonderry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Date of death Aug 20, 1981 HM Prison Maze, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
The details

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, was born into a family from the Springtown Camp, Derry, County Londonderry, 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.

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

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. Bloody Sunday had a deep impact on Devine.

In the early 1970s, Devine joined the Irish Labour Party and Young Socialists.

Paramilitary activity

Devine helped found the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1975. 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.

Hunger strikes

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

Mural depicting Mickey Devine
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