03 January 2006

Hunger striker buried

Daily Ireland

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness delivered the oration at the funeral of former IRA hunger striker Matt Devlin in County Tyrone on Saturday.
Speaking to a large crowd Mr McGuinness paid tribute to Matt Devlin’s commitment to the republican struggle.
Mr McGuinness said: “ Matt Devlin was an inspirational figure.
“He was a deeply committed and principled man who spent his entire adult life immersed in the struggle against British rule in Ireland.
“He was a former IRA Volunteer, a former Hunger Striker and a political activist.
“He spent two long periods in prison, yet despite great personal hardships, including ill heath, Matt Devlin never gave up.
“He remained true to his republican ideals and beliefs.
“It was a testament to Matt’s determination and courage that even when seriously ill he still put himself forward to stand for Sinn Féin in the last Southern elections.
“Matt continued to play a key role organising and building the party in Westmeath right up until his untimely death a few days ago.
“Matt’s death is of course a massive loss to those republicans whom he worked with for over three decades and also a very personal loss for his close family.”

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