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  • Southside

Crumlin musician’s story features in new Netflix film

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019 1:00pm
Crumlin musician’s story features in new Netflix film

The Miami Showband at the time of the massacre in 1975 including Crumlin man Tony Geraghty (far left) and Stephen Travers (far right).

Crumlin musician’s story features in new Netflix film

The Miami Showband at the time of the massacre in 1975 including Crumlin man Tony Geraghty (far left) and Stephen Travers (far right).

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 Neil Fetherstonhaugh

THE story of a famous Crumlin musician who lost his life in the notorious Miami Showband Massacre of 1975 will be told to global audience as part of an upcoming hard-hitting documentary.

Last year a wreath-laying ceremony in Eamonn Ceannt Park in Crumlin honoured local man, Tony Geraghty, one of the Miami Showband who died in one of the worst atrocities committed during the Troubles.

Now, a powerful new Netflix documentary ‘ReMastered – The Miami Showband Massacre’ that will air next week will introduce the story to a global television audience of millions.

Tony, alongside fellow stars Fran O'Toole and Brian McCoy died when gunmen, which included members of the UDR, flagged down their minibus as they were returning from a gig in Banbridge, County Down on Thursday, July 31, 1975.

While attempting to plant explosives on the bus, two terrorists were killed when their bomb prematurely exploded. In the ensuing chaos the gunmen chased down and executed the three in cold blood. Stephen Travers (67), from Carrick - on-Suir was badly wounded in the attack along with his fellow musician, Des McAlea.

Travers will feature in the documentary that will be screened on March 22 as part of the ReMastered docu-series that examines some of the most infamous moments in musical history.

The eight-part series that is produced by Emmy and Peabody award-winning brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist examines significant milestones in the lives of various artists and has already proved a massive success since it started with Bob Marley in October.

It has since delved into the tales of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, as well as Run DMC's Jam Master Jay. In March the focus will turn to the story of The Miami Showband Massacre that sent shockwaves through the country 43 years ago.

In the 2007 book ‘The Miami Showband Massacre – A Survivor’s Search for the Truth’ written by Stephen and myself, the guitarist spoke warmly of the talented fellow musician who he regarded as a close friend.

Travers, who has since become a campaigner for peace through his work with the apolitical Truth and Reconciliation Platform, warned that the events of four decades ago are not only still fresh in his mind but remain a warning of the ramifications of the return of a hard border with the north.

“People who live along the border, from both traditions and who abhor violence and sectarianism, fear the negative consequences of a hard border which will be necessary unless Britain stays within a customs union,” he said.

“It is important to remember incidents like The Miami Showband Massacre when Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg suggest ‘a return to the checks we had during the Troubles’ as a solution to the current political impasse. We need to be aware of the consequences of a hard border and what that would mean.”

Surviver Stephen Travers, who has become a peace campaigner, remembers his lost band mates fondly.

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