The Miami Showband Massacre (E247)
On the night of July 31, 1975, the Miami Showband were travelling back from a gig in County Down, in the north of Ireland, when just outside of Newry they were stopped at a military roadside checkpoint. Out of the five band members travelling back to Dublin that night, only two made it home. The checkpoint was bogus, set up by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) who were trying to plant a bomb on the tour bus with the intention of framing the popular non-sectarian Irish band. Stephen Travers and Des Lee both survived the massacre. Three men, one former and two serving Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers, were subsequently convicted for the murders. But 30 years on, declassified papers have revealed British intelligence was involved. In very special Sputnik episode we invited Stephen into the studio to tell us this harrowing story.