On 31 July 1975 the lives of three members of The Miami Showband came to a tragic and brutal end at the hands of a loyalist gang who attacked and murdered them in County Down.
Five members of the group were travelling by minibus from Bambridge, County Down in the direction of Dublin when the attack occurred. Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty of the Miami Showband were shot dead. Des Lee and Stephen Travers survived. Two of the attackers were also killed in the explosion.
RTÉ News reports on the attack and the political reaction to the killings. Chief Superintendent of the RUC Michael McAtamney speaks to reporter Brian Black gives the police interpretation of what happened.
The Miami Showband while travelling by van just north of Newry were stopped and ordered out of the vehicle by gunmen dressed in British Army uniform. An explosion took place followed by a burst of gunfire, killing the three members of the group. Mr. Paddy O'Donoghue of the SDLP claims there is a murder gang at work in West Down and that the murders brought further shame on the entire community. The Alliance Party has asked for full cooperation from the public in bringing the murderers to justice.
Two serving British soldiers and one former British soldier were found guilty of the murders and received life sentences. They were released from prison in 1998.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 July 1975. The reporter is Brian Black.