Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

The Miami Showband Massacre – 45th Anniversary July 31 2020 : Files delay ‘appalling’, says judge – BBC News

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Readers are urged to examine the stark facts below.

The British State was caught running the loyalist sectarian murder of Miami Showband musicians returning in the wee small hours from a music gig at Castle Ballroom, Banbridge, County Down on July 31 1975, 45 years ago.

A survivor, Stephen Travers, tells the story to Yvonne Watterson .

My friend Stephen Travers knows all too well about remembering. He was a member of the Miami Showband who survived that atrocity.

They were travelling home from a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co Down, when they were flagged down at what appeared to be a routine British army checkpoint outside Newry. They were ordered to stand by the road with their hands on their heads, while the men in uniform checked their van.

Stephen recalls being concerned about what was taking so long. “My guitar was in there. I had a very unusual guitar, a transparent Dan Armstrong Plexiglas bass, and I was very protective of it. I was damned if I was going to let some awkward soldier manhandle it. I loved my guitar.”

Two of the uniformed men – later revealed as members of the Ulster Defence Regiment – were planting a bomb under the driver’s seat when it exploded, killing both of them. The other assailants opened fire, killing the band’s frontman, Fran O’Toole, its trumpet player, Brian McCoy, and its lead guitarist, Tony Geraghty.

An Ulster Defence Regiment ((UDR) checkpoint after the murder of three Miami Showband members on July 31 1975 – the UDR was a British Army regiment.

The British State works hard to prevent Justice in this case – it is guilty, knows it, and delays as long as possible; this news report is dated January 24 2020 :


In 2011, a report by the Historical Enquiries Team raised concerns about collusion around the involvement of an RUC Special Branch agent.
It found that mid-Ulster UVF man Robin Jackson claimed in police interviews he had been tipped off by a senior RUC officer to lie low after his fingerprints were found on a silencer attached to one of the weapons.
He was later acquitted on a charge of possessing the silencer.
Files redacted
Two UDR soldiers were convicted for their roles in the attack.
The victims’ case has alleged that military chiefs knew about paramilitaries infiltrating the UDR, but failed to stop it.
Damages are being sought in writs against the MOD and the PSNI Chief Constable for assault, trespass, conspiracy to injure, negligence and misfeasance in public office.
Some army files have been disclosed to the plaintiffs, however, they were redacted on national security grounds.
A barrister representing Chief Constable Simon Byrne said “administrative problems” were to blame for the delay in submitting documents and asked for two weeks to arrange any application for Public Interest Immunity.
Justice Maguire ruled there would be a two-week adjournment, but said: “I would be inclined to consider seriously striking out the police defence”.
“I think the time is coming in this case where the court’s patience is (running out).”
— Read on

Who was the checkpoint commander with a “British accent”?

Two of the dead ‘soldiers’ from the bogus checkpoint were later confirmed as members of the illegal organisation. Both Travers and Lee have persistently argued that there was collusion between the armed forces and groups such as the UVF. Travers has always maintained that he heard a British accent from the commander of the checkpoint. Further investigation shows British Army personnel who agreed with Travers line of thinking and who also raised concerns with their commanding officers regarding complicity between the UVF and the British Army.

Miami Showband Musicians before the July 31 1975 Massacre

A Simple Request :

To mark the 45th anniversary of the massacre, Stephen has a simple request for artists, poets, musicians and performers all over the globe: “Wherever you are in the world, sing a song, play a tune, clap your hands or just say a verse of your favourite poem to remember them and post it on social media with the hashtag #MiamiShowband.”

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