INLA Volunteer Micky Devine
Michael Devine was born May 26th, 1954 on the former American army base, Springfield Camp, outside of Derry City. Unlike his comrades on hungerstrike, Micky did not come from a typically extended family. His father died when he was only 11 years old and his mother when he was a teenager. He grew up fast and fiercely nationalist.
Springfield Camp showed the true side of housing available to poor Catholics in the Derry area. It was meant only for short term living but this soon became extended indefinitely. It was actually into Micky's sixth year that the family finally moved to the newly built Creggan ghetto.
Micky took part in the original Derry riots in 1968 and there he developed his hatred for the RUC. He also participated in the Battle of the Bogside in the summer of '69. Twice in the month in a half, Micky ended up in the hospital after savage beatings from the RUC riot squads.
In 1970, Micky became involved with the civil rights movement as well as the Young Socialists and Labour Party. He became a member of the James Connolly 'Republican Club' and then, shortly after internment, a member of the Derry Brigade of the 'Official IRA'.
1972 was a terrible year for him. Micky was a part of the civil rights march turned bloody on January 30, 1972. Bloody Sunday
was a day that he would remember forever. His mother also died that year from a brain tumor.
Micky became disillusioned with the Sticks in 1973 and their unilateral ceasefire. With the founding of the IRSP
in 1974, Micky had finally the outlet for his socialist convictions. He joined up as one of the Irps and was one of the founding members of the PLA (People's Liberation Army, later to become the INLA
).Towards the end of 1973, Micky, then age 19, got married.
His wife, Margaret, was only seventeen. They lived in Ranmore Drive in Creggan and had two children: Michael, and Louise."Red Mick," as he was known both for his ginger hair and his political leanings, was eventually arrested in September of 1976 and charged for his part in an INLA weapon seeking operation. Also a part of this operation was a comrade and friend of Devine's, fellow hungerstriker Patsy O'Hara
Micky was on remand for nine long months in Crumlin Jail. Eventually he was brought to trial and convicted for the operation. Sentenced to 12 years, Micky immediately joined the blanket protest in the H Blocks.
After four years on the blanket, on the 21st of June, 1981, Micky joined the hungerstrike as the seventh man actively striking (3 having already died, Sands
Micky Devine refused to be labeled a criminal and for this and for Ireland he gave his life. He died on August 20, 1981, after 60 days on hungerstrike. He would be the last of the now revered ten. God rest his soul.