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By they had gained a large following, playing to crowds of people in dance halls and ballrooms across the island. They were prepared to travel anywhere in Ireland to perform for their fans. According to the Irish Times , at the height of the Irish showband's popularity from the s to the s , up to as many as bands travelled to venues all over Ireland on a nightly basis.
Five members of the Dublin-based band were travelling home after a performance at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge , County Down on Thursday 31 July Ray Millar, the band's drummer, was not with them as he had chosen to go to his home town of Antrim to spend the night with his parents. The band's road manager, Brian Maguire, had already gone ahead a few minutes earlier in the equipment van.
At about 2: Assuming it was a legitimate checkpoint, McCoy informed the others inside the minibus of a military checkpoint up ahead and pulled in at the lay-by as directed by the armed men. How are things? Can you step out of the van for a few minutes and we'll just do a check".
About 10 gunmen were at the checkpoint, according to author and journalist Martin Dillon. After McCoy told them they were the Miami Showband, Thomas Crozier who had a notebook asked the band members for their names and addresses, while the others bantered with them about the success of their performance that night and playfully asking which one was Dickie Rock.
He wore a uniform and beret noticeably different from the others. The jocular mood of the gunmen abruptly ceased. At no time did this new soldier speak to any of the band members nor did he directly address Crozier. He relayed all his instructions to the gunman in command. Just after the arrival of this mysterious soldier, McCoy nudged Travers, who was standing beside him, and reassured him by saying "Don't worry Stephen, this is British Army".
McCoy, son of the Orange Order 's Grand Master for County Tyrone,  had close relatives in the security forces; his brother-in-law was a former member of the B Specials which had been disbanded in Everybody was respectful to Brian". McCoy's words, therefore, were taken seriously by the other band members, and anything he said was considered to be accurate. At least four of the gunmen were soldiers from the UDR, the locally recruited infantry regiment of the British Army in Northern Ireland.
Out of sight of the band members, two of the gunmen placed a ten-pound 4. However, Martin Dillon alleged that the bomb was meant to go off in the Irish Republic. Des McAlea and Stephen Travers heard two of the gunmen rummaging in the back of the minibus, where they both kept their respective instruments.
Concerned they might be damaged, McAlea first approached the two gunmen and asked if he could remove his saxophone. When they agreed he placed it on the ground, opened its case and then went back into line; however this time he stood first in the line-up closest to the minibus when previously he had been third. Asked whether he had anything valuable inside the case, Travers replied no.
The gunman turned him round, punched him hard in the back and pushed him on the shoulder back into the line-up. When the device was tilted on its side,  clumsy soldering on the clock used as a timer caused the bomb to explode prematurely, blowing the minibus apart and killing soldiers Harris Boyle aged 22, a telephone wireman from Portadown and Wesley Somerville aged 34, a textile worker from Moygashel instantly.
Hurled in opposite directions, they were both decapitated and their bodies dismembered. What little that remained intact of their bodies was burnt beyond recognition; one of the limbless torsos was completely charred. Following the explosion pandemonium broke out among the remaining gunmen; shouting obscenities they opened fire on the dazed band members, who had all been blown down into the field below the level of the road from the force of the blast.
According to Martin Dillon, the order to shoot was given by the patrol's apparent leader, James McDowell,  to eliminate witnesses to the bogus checkpoint and subsequent bombing. Brian McCoy was the first to die, having been hit in the back and neck by nine rounds from a 9mm Luger pistol in the initial volley of gunfire.
He was then machine-gunned 22 times, mostly in the face, as he lay supine on the ground.
Back Page Dallas LatinasAlmost his entire head was destroyed. Tony Geraghty also attempted to escape; but he was caught by the gunmen and shot twice in the back of his head, a number of times in the back and once in the scrotum. Both men had pleaded for their lives before they were shot; one had cried out, "Please don't shoot me, don't kill me".
Bassist Stephen Travers was seriously wounded by a dum-dum bullet which had struck him when the gunmen had first begun shooting. He lay hidden in thick undergrowth, face down, undetected by the gunmen. He also survived by remaining silent, pretending he was dead.
However, the flames from the burning hedge which had been set on fire by the explosion soon came dangerously close to where he lay; he was forced to leave his hiding spot. By this time the gunmen had left the scene, assuming everyone else had been killed. Travers later recalled hearing one of the departing gunmen tell his comrade who had kicked McCoy's body to make sure he was not alive: I got them with dum-dums".
When the RUC arrived at the site they found five dead bodies, a seriously injured Stephen Travers, body parts, the smouldering remains of the destroyed minibus, debris from the bomb blast, bullets, spent cartridges, and the band members' personal possessions, including clothing, shoes, and a photograph of the group, strewn across the area. They also discovered a stolen white Ford Escort registration number LZ,  which had been left behind by the gunmen, along with two guns, ammunition, green UDR berets and a pair of glasses later traced to James McDowell, the gunman who had allegedly ordered the shootings.
He described the scene as having "just the smell of utterly death about the place He also added that "that bomb was definitely placed there with a view to killing all in that band". The only identifiable body part from the bombers to survive the blast which had been heard up to four miles away was a severed arm belonging to Wesley Somerville.
It was found yards from the site with a "UVF Portadown" tattoo on it. The RUC's investigative unit, the Assassination or "A" Squad of detectives, was set up to investigate the crime and to discover the identities of the UVF gunmen who perpetrated the killings.
He subsequently stated they refused to accept his description of the different-coloured beret worn by the soldier with the English accent. The dead bombers were named by the UVF, in a statement issued within 12 hours of the attack. The stolen Ford Escort belonged to a man from Portadown, who according to Captain Fred Holroyd , had links with one of the UVF bombers and the driver of the bomb car which had been left to explode in Parnell Street , Dublin on 17 May He was also one of the prime suspects in the sectarian killing of Dorothy Traynor on 1 April in Portadown.
Ballistic evidence indicates that the member gang took at least six guns with them on the attack. The submachine guns, which had been stolen years earlier from a former member of the B Specials,  were linked to prior and later sectarian killings, whereas the Luger had been used to kill leading IRA member, John Francis Green , the previous January.
Jackson was charged with possession of the silencer but not convicted, the trial judge having reportedly said: A UVF patrol led by Major Boyle was suspicious of two vehicles, a minibus and a car parked near the border. Major Boyle ordered his patrol to apprehend the occupants for questioning. As they were being questioned, Major Boyle and Lieutenant Somerville began to search the minibus.
As they began to enter the vehicle, a bomb was detonated and both men were killed outright. At the precise moment of the explosion, the patrol came under intense automatic fire from the occupants of the other vehicle. The patrol sergeant immediately ordered fire to be returned. Using self-loading rifles and sub-machine guns, the patrol returned fire, killing three of their attackers and wounding another.
The patrol later recovered two Armalite rifles and a pistol. Three UVF members are being treated for gunshot wounds after last night but not in hospital. It would appear that the UVF patrol surprised members of a terrorist organisation transferring weapons to the Miami Showband minibus and that an explosive device of some description was being carried by the Showband for an unlawful purpose.
It is obvious, therefore, that the UVF patrol was justified in taking the action it did and that the killing of the three Showband members should be regarded as justifiable homicide. The Officers and Agents of the Ulster Central Intelligence Agency commend the UVF on their actions and tender their deepest sympathy to the relatives of the two Officers who died while attempting to remove the bomb from the minibus.
The killings shocked both Northern Ireland and Ireland and put a serious strain on Anglo-Irish relations. The government held the view that the British Government had not done enough to stop sectarian assassinations in Northern Ireland. Although not a member of any loyalist paramilitary group,  he was a close friend of Harris Boyle and the two were often seen together. The IRA said it killed him because of an alleged association with British Army officer and member of 14th Intelligence Company , Captain Robert Nairac , and claimed it was in possession of his diary, which had been stolen in Portadown.
The night after the Miami Showband massacre, gunmen opened fire on a minibus near Gilford. It had been travelling from Banbridge to Bleary with nine people on board; all were Catholics and most had been returning from a regular bingo session. The RUC suggested the IRA had meant to attack a police minibus in revenge for the Miami killings, but had mistakenly attacked a civilian minibus instead.
They were driving home from a Gaelic football match in Dublin. The two men were found shot dead nearby. However, the officers suspected that the checkpoint was fake. After receiving radio confirmation that there were no authorised checkpoints in the area that night, they reported the incident and requested help from the British Army to investigate it, but no action was taken.
A number of suspects were arrested by the RUC in early August Thomas Crozier recounted that on the night of the killings, he had driven to the grounds of a school in Lurgan where he had picked up two men. He then drove to a lay-by on the Newry-Banbridge dual carriageway and met up with another five men, who were all wearing British Army uniforms.
They subsequently set up a roadblock with "all the trappings of a regular military checkpoint". Crozier told police, and later a court, that he had not played a large part in the attack. He refused to name his accomplices, as he felt that to do so would put the lives of his family in danger. The RUC were led to him through his glasses which had been found at the murder scene.
Tests done on the glasses, which were eventually traced back to McDowell, revealed that the lenses were of a prescription worn by just 1 in , of the population. There was very little planning. I only came into it because of my UDR connection and the fact that I had a uniform. I was given a sub-machine gun but I had never fired it.
I passed out when the explosion happened and that was when I lost the gun, the glasses, and a UDR beret. Crozier had pleaded not guilty. He added that had the death penalty not been abolished, it would have been imposed in this case. He was charged with the Miami Showband murders, the attempted murder of Stephen Travers, and the murder of Patrick Falls in He was given a total of four life sentences three for the murders of the Miami Showband members and one for the Falls murder on 9 November ;  he had pleaded not guilty.
The three men were sent to serve their sentence in the Maze Prison , on the outskirts of Lisburn. Fortnight Magazine reported that on 1 June , John James Somerville began a hunger strike at the Maze to obtain special category status. A continued allegation in the case has been the presence of Captain Robert Nairac at the scene.
I was told by a source close to "Mr. Travers had described the English-accented man as having been of normal height and thought he had fair hair, but was not certain. Travers was not able to positively identify Nairac, from his photograph, as having been the man at Buskhill.
Journalist Emily O'Reilly noted in the Sunday Tribune that none of the three men convicted of the massacre ever implicated Nairac in the attack or accused him of causing Boyle's death. According to Kerr, on 31 July at 4 am Nairac had started out on a road journey from London to Scotland for a fishing holiday.
He also provides other alibis for Nairac precluding his presence at the scenes of both the John Francis Green killing and the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. The band's road manager, Brian Maguire stated that when he drove away from Banbridge in the lead, a few minutes ahead of the band's minibus, he passed through security barriers manned by the RUC.
As Maguire continued ahead, up the by-pass towards Newry, he noticed a blue Triumph pulling-out from where it had been parked in a lay-by. Maguire recalled that the car first slowed down, then it accelerated, flashing its lights. He was one of the men taken in by the RUC in August and questioned as a suspect in the killings, but was released without charge.
Former British soldier and writer Ken Wharton published in his book Wasted Years, Wasted Lives, Volume 1 , an alternative theory that was suggested to him by loyalist paramilitarism researcher Jeanne Griffin; this was that the ambush was planned by Robin Jackson as an elaborate means of eliminating trumpet player Brian McCoy.
When McCoy refused, Jackson then hatched his plan to murder McCoy and his bandmates in retaliation, even macabrely choosing Buskhill as the ambush site due to its similarity to Bus-kill. Griffin goes on to add that the bogus checkpoint was set up not only to plant the bomb on board the van but to ensure the presence of McCoy which would have been confirmed when he handed over his driver's license to the gunmen.
She also thinks that had everything gone to plan once the bomb was planted in the van McCoy would have been instructed to drive through Newry where the bomb would have gone off and the UVF could then afterwards portray the Miami Showband as IRA members on a mission to blow up the local RUC barracks. Griffin based her theory on the nine bullets that were fired from a Luger into McCoy's body and that Jackson's fingerprints were found on the silencer used for a Luger.
She furthermore opined that Jackson was the man Travers saw kicking McCoy's body to make sure he was dead. The Pat Finucane Centre has named the Miami Showband killings as one of the 87 violent attacks perpetrated by the Glenanne gang against the Irish nationalist community in the s. Weir's affidavit implicating Robin Jackson in a number of attacks including the Dublin bombings was published in the Barron Report; the findings of an official investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings commissioned by Irish Supreme Court Judge Henry Barron.
During the six years from the onset of "The Troubles" until the July attack, there had never been an incident involving any of the showbands. The incident had an adverse effect on the Irish showband scene, with many of the bands afraid to play in Northern Ireland. The emergence of discos later in the decade meant that ballrooms were converted into nightclubs, leaving the showbands with few venues available in which to perform.
By the mids, the showbands had lost their appeal for the Irish public; although The Miami Showband, albeit with a series of different line-ups, did not disband until It is fronted by McAlea, who returned to Northern Ireland the same year after living in South Africa since about Travers travelled to Belfast in for a secret meeting with the second-in-command of the UVF's Brigade Staff, in an attempt to come to terms with the killing of his former colleagues and friends.
The meeting was arranged by Rev. Chris Hudson , a former intermediary between the government of Ireland and the UVF, whose role was crucial to the Northern Ireland peace process. The UVF man, who identified himself only as "the Craftsman", apologised to Travers for the attack, and explained that the UVF gunmen had opened fire on the band because they "had panicked" that night.
Travers also visited the home of Thomas Crozier, hoping to meet with him, but the latter did not come to the door. In January he was found dead in his Shankill Road flat. Aged 70, he died of cancer of the kidney. A monument dedicated to the dead Miami Showband members was unveiled at a ceremony at Parnell Square North, Dublin, on 10 December The monument, entitled 'Let's Dance' is made of limestone, bronze and granite, by County Donegal sculptor Redmond Herrity , and is at the site of the old National Ballroom, where the band often played.
The plaque describes them as having been "killed in action". In a report on Nairac's alleged involvement in the massacre, published in the Sunday Mirror newspaper on 16 May , Colin Wills called the ambush "one of the worst atrocities in the year history of the Troubles". A stamp was issued in Ireland on 22 September commemorating the Miami Showband. The cent stamp, designed with a publicity photograph of the band, included two of the slain members Fran O'Toole and Brian McCoy as part of the line-up when Dickie Rock was the frontman.
It was one of a series of four stamps issued by An Post , celebrating the "golden age of the Irish showband era from the s to the s". The Historical Enquiries Team HET , which was set up to investigate the more controversial Troubles-related deaths, released its report on the Miami Showband killings to the victims' families in December Although this information was passed on to RUC headquarters, nothing was done about it.
In a police statement made following his arrest for possession of the silencer and Luger on 31 May , Jackson maintained that a week before he was taken into custody, two RUC officers had tipped him off about the discovery of his fingerprints on the silencer; he also claimed they had forewarned him: Robin Jackson died of cancer on 30 May , aged The families held a press conference in Dublin after the report was released.
When asked to comment about the report, Des McAlea replied, "It's been a long time but we've got justice at last". The HET said the killings raised "disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Miami Showband killings Part of the Troubles Site of the massacre; the band's minibus was parked in the lay-by behind the roadsign.
The Troubles in Ireland. Main article: The Troubles. Main articles: The Miami Showband. The Sunday Business Post. Archived from the original on 9 March At the next exit, Red Road SR , the expressway forms the boundary between an unincorporated section of Miami-Dade County and Miami Gardens , with the expressway entering the city proper at the next exit, Northwest 47th Avenue.
The expressway then passes to the north of Florida Memorial University before the Northwest 37th Avenue exit, where it creates the northern border of St. Thomas University 's campus. SR takes a convoluted path through the Golden Glades Interchange. After turning to the northeast, SR moves off its mainline at the next exit onto the mainline of the Turnpike which passes over it; SR 's former mainline, meanwhile, continues on as an at-grade extension of Northwest 7th Avenue to US northbound.
Traffic moving from eastbound SR to the northbound Turnpike must pass through an unsignalised intersection here. It then passes over Interstate 95 proper, which lies between the southbound and northbound carriageways of US , as it swings back to the northeast and then to the east once more.
SR resumes its east—west orientation once more at a signalised intersection with Northwest 2nd Avenue, marking the end of SR 's expressway. Two blocks after leaving the interchange, the road crosses North Miami Avenue , the longitudinal baseline for Miami-Dade County; thus, the road becomes Northeast th Street once it passes this point.
Approximately 0. Two blocks later, at Northeast 8th Avenue, North Miami Beach Boulevard starts to swing to the southeast, leaving Northeast th Street's orientation, reaching Northeast rd street approximately 0. It immediately passes the Mall at rd Street on its left, continuing on as a shopping strip for another 1. To the east of US 1, SR 's character changes as it passes through mangroves and crosses the Oleta River , having expanded to eight lanes.
With North Miami Beach lying to the north and North Miami to the south of the road,  SR passes between more mangroves to its south and more businesses to the north as it approaches the Intracoastal Waterway. Here, the road splits into separate eastbound and westbound streets before it crosses the Waterway over a drawbridge in each direction,  and enters Sunny Isles Beach.
Apartment buildings line the outside of the two road-halves, with some commercial services in the middle, as it continues on for another 0. The traffic volume along SR 's entire length is measured by the Florida Department of Transportation. Traffic volumes decrease to the south of the Dolphin Expressway, particularly south of the Don Shula Expressway merge; however, unlike the rest of SR including its surface road portion , much of its peak traffic flow is uni-directional.
Indeed, at the Palmetto Expressway's southern end, between US 1 and Kendall Drive , traffic moves almost exclusively in the peak direction. Northwards, traffic volumes decrease after the interchange with I and the Gratigny Parkway , with a reported drop of approximately 60, daily vehicle movements north of the interchange. As the Palmetto Expressway rounds the Big Curve and heads eastwards, the traffic volume steadily increases to a maximum of , daily vehicle movements just prior to the Golden Glades Interchange as it collects traffic from the north—south routes in the Miami Gardens area.
East of the interchange, where SR becomes a surface road, the traffic volumes are more than halved in comparison to SR 's expressway sections, with a recorded figure of 64, daily vehicle movements. In , plans were unveiled for several expressways throughout Dade County. The route would then turn south at Southwest th Avenue and follow it into US 1.
In , the State Road Department started construction on the bypass expressway under their authority. Many land owners were forced to sell their property to the county to make way for the construction of the expressway. The completion of the Palmetto Expressway the "Bypass" faded from public usage in the s and the building of Interstate 95 were the impetus of the construction of the massive Golden Glades Interchange involving Florida's Turnpike, US , Interstate 95, and SR 9.
When the Palmetto Expressway was first opened, it went through tracts of woodland and farmland which have since been urbanized. Originally there were four at-grade intersections in Hialeah and Miami Lakes which were either transformed into full interchanges or blocked off in the s.
In addition, increasing traffic loads on the Palmetto prompted plans for extending Florida's Turnpike to "bypass the bypass. The Florida Department of Transportation recently completed a project on a The Dolphin-Palmetto Interchange construction began on November 30, , and was completed in late The Florida Department of Transportation is in the process of adding express lanes on the Palmetto Expressway  between West Flagler Street and Northwest th Street, which will connect with new express lanes on Interstate This will result in four regular and two express lanes,  similar to 95 express.
The entire route is in Miami-Dade County. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Average annual daily traffic Source: SR 's definition in Incomplete access. Florida Department of Transportation. Archived from the original PDF on February 8, Retrieved July 27, Retrieved May 16, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. Retrieved May 17, Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.
Archived from the original on September 22, April Cartography by Geography Division. Census Bureau. January 7, Sheet March 13, MapQuest, Inc. Retrieved Google Maps. Retrieved April 22, Retrieved May 19,
Two active UDR soldiers and one former UDR soldier were found guilty of the murders and received life sentences; they were released in Located in Jupiter, Florida. Kelly Dylan. Assuming it was a legitimate checkpoint, McCoy informed the others inside the minibus of a military checkpoint up ahead and pulled in at the lay-by as directed by the armed men. A Queen on a mission to thrill ex ballerina best assistance in your eyes Visiting Miami April. It immediately passes the Mall at rd Street on its left, continuing on as a shopping strip for another 1. Programme Four: When they agreed he placed it on the ground, opened its case and then went back into line; however this time he stood first in the line-up closest to the minibus when previously he had been third.
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