10/12/2007

Miami Showband Memorial Unveiled

A memorial to the victims of the Miami Showband Massacre has been unveiled in Dublin by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Three members of the band - Tony Geraghty, Fran O'Toole and Brian McCoy - were murdered by gunmen from the loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) near Newry, Co. Down in July 1975.

The band's bus was stopped by the UVF members, posing as soldiers at a fake roadside checkpoint. The band was told to line up while an attempt was made to plant a bomb on board the bus. However, the bomb exploded prematurely, killing UVF men Harris Boyle and Wesley Sommerville. The rest of the gang then opened fire on the band members.

Today's unveiling of the monument at the former National Ballroom on Parnell Square North was attended by survivors of the massacre, Stephen Travers and Des McAlea.

An inter-denominational prayer service was held with Catholic priest Fr Brian D'Arcy and Anglican rector, the Rev Robert Dean, while Eurovision Song Contest winner and former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon sang.

(KMcA)


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