Today is the 39th anniversary of the death of Micky Devine, the tenth and last man to die on the 1981 hunger strike. Below are a number of links to events held throughout this year (mostly online as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic) to commemorate the hunger strikers of 1981, but also the centenary of the death of Terence McSwiney in 1920.
Micky Devine was born in Derry in 1954. His parents died while he was young. He became politicised in his teens during the civil rights period and by 1971, at the age of 17, he joined the ‘Official IRA’ but went with the INLA when that organisation was founded in 1975. He married at nineteen and had one son and one daughter. Arrested in September 1976 he was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment in 1977 and immediately embarked on the blanket protest. He took over as O/C of the INLA blanket men in March 1981 when the then O/C, Patsy O’Hara, joined the hunger strike. Micky was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strike, and on 20 August 1981 after fasting for sixty days he was the last of the ten men to die.
This poem, If Jesus, is published in the book Hunger Strike – Reflections, edited by Danny Morrison, Secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust.
Óglach Tom McElwee Commemoration
Óglach Tom McSwiney
Óglach Kieran Doherty
2020 National Hunger Strike On-Line Commemoration
Óglach Joe McDonell
Annual Bobby Sands lecture
A Celebration of the life of Bobby Sands
Pat Sheehan remembers Óglach Bobby Sands
Danny Morrison interviewed about the background to the hunger strike by Jason Hodges, US Friends of Sinn Féin
Annual Cycle Tribute to Kieran
The Cumann Rothaíochta Kieran Doherty TD (Cycling Club) set off on their annual cycle to Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, on Saturday August 1st. The journey began from the Kieran Doherty TD commemorative rock at Commedagh Drive where Alex Maskey MLA gave a short speech commending the cyclists in this fifteenth year of the cycle.
Leading the group from the monument were Terry Doherty, brother of Kieran Doherty, and Brian Holmes who was sporting his Irish jersey from the 1972 Olympics. Brian along with other NCA Irish cyclists during the cycle race at the Munich games staged a historic protest about the British army presence in Ireland and internment. Brian was himself interned some months later.
As the cyclists made their way on their 90 mile journey, they were joined by Sean Conlon Sinn Féin Councillor from Monaghan and a number of Ballyconnell cyclists. Arriving at Ballyconnell the group were met by a group of local Republican Activists and a short ceremony was held at the Kieran Doherty monument. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Doherty family, Kieran Doherty TD Cumann Rothaíochta, Colin S.F. and Ballyconnell Sinn Féin.
This year the Kieran Doherty cyclists in solidarity with the Basque Political Prisoners have been contributing to the 3,000,000 km sporting challenge that has been taking place all around the Basque Country in support of their 233 remaining Political Prisoners dispersed throughout Spanish and French Prisons. The group of cyclists have chalked up quite a number of kilometres on their behalf in recent weeks and on Saturday they added 140km to that total.