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Ó Snodaigh pays tribute to Micky Devine as commemorations marking the deaths of the hunger strikers come to an end

21 August, 2006

Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has paid tribute Micky Devine, the last of the ten hunger strikers to give his life in 1981, and to all of the ten men who died during that period defending the republican cause from the criminalisation policy of Margaret Thatcher. Dublin Sinn Féin will hold a vigil this evening at 5pm at the GPO honour Micky Devine and his nine comrades as the commemorations to mark the deaths of each of the ten men come to an end.

Speaking before the vigil Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Micky Devine was a typical Derry lad whose family suffered all of the ills of sectarian and class discrimination inflicted upon the Catholic working-class of that city: poor housing, unemployment and lack of opportunity. He joined the official IRA after witnessing first hand the events of Bloody Sunday and ended up in the H-Blocks in June 1977. After spending four years on the blanket he went on hunger strike and became the tenth and last man to die on the protest on the twentieth of August 1981.

"As the commemorations to mark the deaths of each of the ten men come to an end we remember with pride Micky Devine along with his nine comrades who collectively and so courageously defended the republican movement from the criminalisation policies of Margaret Thatcher.

"This evening's vigil comes on the back of the tremendous event in Casement Park where some 30,000 people from throughout the thirty-two counties of Ireland came out in support and remembrance of the hunger strikers and the cause for which they died.

"It is important that republicans continue to come out in support of the hunger strikers for it is only by remembering our past with pride that we can move forward to the future with confidence." ENDS

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