Ceremony in memory of Derry Hunger Striker

Micky Devine and right, INLA Volunteers carry his coffin at his funeral after he died on Hunger Strike in 1981.
Micky Devine and right, INLA Volunteers carry his coffin at his funeral after he died on Hunger Strike in 1981.

The Derry branch of the IRSP will be holding a wreath laying ceremony this Sunday, August 20, in memory of Derry Hunger Striker Micky Devine.

The ceremony will take place at the Republican Socialist Plot in the City Cemetery, assembling at 1.30pm for 2pm start, with all flowers and wreaths welcome.

Mickey Devine died on August 20, 1981. Danny Morrison, chairman of Derry IRSP, said: “27-year-old Micky Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strike to the death.

“Micky Devine took over as O/C of the INLA blanket men in March when the then O/C, Patsy O’Hara, joined the hunger strike, but he retained this leadership post when he joined the hunger strike himself. Known as ‘Red Micky’, his nickname stemmed from his ginger hair rather than his political complexion, although he was most definitely a republican socialist.

“The story of Micky Devine is not one of a republican ‘super-hero’ but of a typical Derry lad whose family suffered all of the ills of sectarian and class discrimination inflicted upon the Catholic working-class of this city: poor housing, unemployment and lack of opportunity. Micky himself had a rough life. His father died when Micky was a young lad; he found his mother dead when he was only a teenager; he underwent four years of suffering ‘on the blanket’ in the H-Blocks; and, finally, the torture of hunger-strike.

“Micky Devine was the last to die on hunger strike in the dark years of 1981. We invite all republicans that want to show their respect to turn up on the day.”