Ahern to meet Miami Showband families

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will meet members of the Miami Showband families today.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will meet members of the Miami Showband families today.

The Miami Showband atrocity was one of the most shocking events in the North’s Troubles, resulting in the killing of three band members.

The Taoiseach is expected to discuss the Report on the Dundalk Bombings of 1975 by the Joint Oireachtas Committee which was launched yesterday.

In July 1975, the Ulster Volunteer Force gunned down three members of the Miami Showband after a bomb attack the loyalist gang was planning backfired, killing two of their members.

The showband, who were one of the country’s most popular live bands in the 1970s, were returning from performing at a dance in Banbridge, Co Down, when their minibus was flagged down by men dressed in army uniforms on the road to border town of Newry.

Band members were told to line up in a ditch while UVF members posing as Ulster Defence Regiment members tried to plant a bomb inside the minibus which they hoped would explode later on as the musicians headed home to Dublin.

As the gang loaded the bomb, the musicians were asked for their names and addresses but it exploded prematurely, killing two UVF members Harris Boyle and Wesley Sommerville.

After the explosion, the UVF gang was ordered to open fire on the band, killing lead singer Fran O'Toole, trumpet player Tony Geraghty and Brian McCoy.

Guitarist Stephen Travers and Des Lee survived.

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