Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mickey Devine remembered in Gorey

Wexford Republicans braved the weather this evening to honour the memory of Mickey Devine in Gorey town. The last hunger striker to die was remembered on the 30th anniversary of his death. Veteran Wexford Republican Mick O’ Leary spoke of the life and times of the man who was known simply as “Red Mickey.”
Mick O’ Leary said;
“Michael James Devine was born on the 26th of May 1954 in the Springtown camp (a former WW2 American army base) just outside of Derry city. At the first civil rights march in Derry, when the RUC batoned several hundred protestors, Mickey was only 14 years old. Mickey would continue to witness sectarian oppression and hatred from the attack on civil rights marchers in Burntollet in January to the 12th of August riots resulting in the battle of the bogside.”
“In 1971 Mickey became involved with the Labour party and the Young Socialists. At this time he also joined the Derry Brigade of the OIRA. After Bloody Sunday, Mickey became a fulltime political and military activist. In late 1974, Mickey joined the newly formed IRSP, and became a founding member of the PLA. He later helped form the INLA.”
“Mickey was arrested in 1976, and sentenced in June 1977 to 12 years. He immediately embarked on the blanket protest. In 1981 he became the seventh man to join the hunger strike. Mickey was due to be released from jail that coming September but instead he rejected the criminalisation and chose to fight and face death.”
“Mickey Devine died at 7:50am on Thursday the 20th of August 1981.”

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