A harrowing new documentary on Netflix examines one of the worst atrocities of The Troubles – the murder of The Miami Showband.
The Miami Showband were an Irish showband in the 1960s and 1970s led by singer Dickie Rock and later by Fran O'Toole. They had seven number one records on the Irish singles chart. Band members Fran O'Toole, Tony Geraghty, and Brian McCoy were killed in the Miami Showband killings in 1975 during The Troubles when returning from a performance in County Down, Northern Ireland.
On 31 July 1975, five members of the band were travelling by minibus back to Dublin from a gig in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. At the townland of Buskhill, outside of Newry, they were stopped at a bogus military checkpoint by gunmen dressed in British Army uniform, who ordered them to get out and line up by the roadside. The gunmen were members of a loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Two gunmen hid a time bomb on the minibus, but it exploded prematurely and killed them. The remaining gunmen then opened fire on the band members, killing O'Toole, McCoy and Geraghty and wounding Lee and Travers. Two serving Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers and one former UDR soldier later received life sentences after having been found guilty of murder.
A monument at Parnell Square North, Dublin, dedicated to the dead Miami Showband members, was unveiled at a ceremony on 10 December 2007 attended by Lee and Travers. The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said of O'Toole, McCoy and Geraghty:
"Their murder was an atrocity which had such a profound impact on everyone on this island. It is remembered with sadness to this very day....We remember the affection in which they were held by people the length and breadth of Ireland. Their popularity crossed all boundaries and all traditions. They simply wanted to entertain everyone who had a love of music. At a dark time, they were a shining light for so many."