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Appeal to ex-UDR troops over Miami Showband massacre

By David Young, PA

Published 05/08/2015

Des Lee, fourth from left, with the Miami Showband in 1975. The men who died were Tony Geraghty (far left), Fran O’Toole (second from left) and Brian McCoy (second from right)
Des Lee, fourth from left, with the Miami Showband in 1975. The men who died were Tony Geraghty (far left), Fran O’Toole (second from left) and Brian McCoy (second from right)
Des Lee, Ray Millar and Stephen Travers walk along the stretch of road where 40 years ago they lost three members of their band
Des Lee, Ray Millar and Stephen Travers walk along the stretch of road where 40 years ago they lost three members of their band
Steve Travers is one of the survivors of the 1975 massacre

The survivors of the Miami Showband attack have urged soldiers who suspected their ranks had been infiltrated by loyalists to help shed light on the UVF atrocity.

Three members of the popular cabaret band were shot dead by a UVF gang after being flagged down as they drove to Dublin after playing a gig in Banbridge, Co Down in July 1975.

Singer Fran O'Toole (29), guitarist Tony Geraghty (23) and 33-year-old trumpeter Brian McCoy were killed in a hail of bullets.

The killer gang opened fire after two members blew themselves up as they attempted to plant a bomb inside the band's bus.

The gang included a number of rogue UDR soldiers. It had flagged down the bus after setting up a fake UDR security checkpoint on the A1 in Co Down.

Days after the 40th anniversary of the attack, they have appealed for former UDR soldiers to help their quest for justice.

Michael Flanigan, the Belfast-based solicitor representing the survivors and bereaved families, said: "We are seeking to take statements from former UDR members from this period.

"We are satisfied that many people who joined the UDR would have been aware of loyalist infiltration and concerned about its impact on the regiment.

"In particular, we would like to hear from former UDR members who may have reported concerns about collusion to their superiors within the regiment."

Mr Flanigan urged anyone with information to contact his office on Belfast's Falls Road on 028 9023 3309 or email info@michael-flanigan.com.

Belfast Telegraph

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