31 July-Miami Showband Massacre

The Miami Showband was one of the most successful Irish bands of the showband era. During the 1960’ and 1970’s the band played to large audiences all over Ireland and had seven number one recordings in the Irish singles charts. In 1975 three members of the group, Fran O’Toole, Tony Geraghty, and Brian McCoy were murdered. They were killed by the paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force in what has become known as the ‘Miami Showband massacre’.

Showbands were popular form of entertainment in Ireland from the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The showband, which played dance music together with pop, rock and roll and country music of the time, usually consisted of six or seven members. They played in large venues all over Ireland and some bands toured with success in Britain, the United States and Canada.

In 1962 the Miami Showband, led by singer Dickie Rock, was established in Dublin. Dickie Rock left the ban in 1972 and was replaced as lead singer by Fran O’Toole. In 1975 the band was returning from a performance in the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge County Down. They were stopped by gunmen at a bogus military checkpoint at Buskill near Newry, Co Down. Three members of the band were killed and two were wounded.

The Miami Showband massacre occurred in the year 1975 On This Day.


The Miami Showband



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