Death at 55 of former H-Block hunger striker

Irish Independent

30 December 2005

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Matt Devlin at age 31 years - photo from Bobby Sands Trust

THE death took place in Belfast yesterday of Matt Devlin, one of the H-Block hunger strikers alongside Bobby Sands in 1981.

Tyrone man Mr Devlin, who was 55, had been living in Tang, Co Westmeath, in recent years and contested the last local elections for the Sinn Fein party.

In 1981 he went on hunger strike for 52 days from July 15 to September 4 during one of modern Ireland's most critical periods.

Yesterday Paul Hogan, the first Sinn Fein councillor to be elected in Athlone, paid tribute to Mr Devlin.

"He was chairperson of the Sean Costello/Martin Hurson Cumann in Athlone, and he will be dearly missed," he said.

"He gave great guidance and leadership to Sinn Fein in Athlone, and to me personally."

Mr Devlin will be laid to rest in Ardboe, Co Tyrone, tomorrow morning. He is survived by his partner Geraldine, and two sons Declan and Matthew.

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