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Mickey Devine was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strikers and he was the last of the group to give their lives in order to retain their status as political prisoners.
Twenty-seven-year-old Mickey Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strike to the death. Mickey 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.
He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on 20 June 1977, and immediately embarked on the blanket protest.
On 21 June 1981, he completed his fourth year on the blanket, and the following day he joined Joe McDonnell, Kieran Doherty, Kevin Lynch, Martin Hurson, Thomas McElwee and Paddy Quinn on hunger strike. He became the seventh man in a weekly build-up from a four-strong hunger strike team to eight-strong. He was moved to the prison hospital on 15 July, his twenty-fourth day on hunger strike.
Mickey died at 7.50 am on 20 August, as nationalist voters in Fermanagh/South Tyrone were beginning to make their way to the polling booths to elect Owen Carron, a member of parliament for the constituency, in a demonstration – for the second time in less than five months – of their support for the prisoners’ demands.