Michael Devine (hunger striker)
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26 May 1954|
Derry, Northern Ireland
|Died||21 August 1981(aged 27)|
Cause of death
|Known for||Hunger strike of 60 days, from 22 June 1981|
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 to a primary level at Holy Child Primary School, Creggan, and at secondary level in St. Joseph's Secondary School, also in the Creggan.
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 Labour Party and Young Socialists.
He 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.
Devine participated in a brief hunger strike in 1980, that was called off without fatalities. On 22 June 1981, Devine joined the 1981 Irish hunger strike. He died on 20 August, the tenth and last of the hunger strikers to die.
According to the Sunday Times, papers released under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that Sinn Féin, the political arm of the IRA, refused offers of the Thatcher government to end the hunger strike until after the election that saw Owen Carron succeed to Bobby Sands Parliamentary seat. Around July 5, 1981, the government secretly tendered concessions that, if accepted, could have saved six of the ten hunger strikers. The claim that the IRA was offered a deal that substantially conformed to their demands was confirmed by Denis Bradley, the former deputy chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
- Hayden, Tom. "Between Hope and History", Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2001
- Tírghrá. National Commemoration Centre. 2002. p. 244. ISBN 0-9542946-0-2.
- Fallen Comrades of the IRSM - Michael Devine
- Cowan, Rosie. "Why I had to let my brother die", The Guardian, April 1, 2001
- Melaugh, Martin. "Conflict Archive on the Internet" (CAIN), University of Ulster
- Clarke, Liam. "Was Gerry Adams complicit over hunger strikers?", Sunday Times, April 5, 2009
- Clarke, Liam. "Why Adams sticks to his Maze myth", Sunday Times April 12, 2009
- Butler, Kate and Clarke, Liam. "IRA was offered deal, says Bradley", Sunday Times, April 30, 2006