20 March 2008 Edition

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Miami massacre book wins award

Stephen Travers

Stephen Travers

THE recently-published book, The Miami Showband Massacre, about survivor Stephen Travers’s search for the truth behind the 1975 attack, has been named as Irish Book of the Year by an Irish community newspaper in Britain, The Irish World.
Stephen Travers and author Neil Fetherstonhaugh accepted the honour at the 21st Annual Irish World Awards in London, which was attended by 1,000 guests from the sport, arts, entertainment and community sectors.
The book attempts to unravel who was behind the planning and execution of the ambush of the Miami Showband outside Newry as they travelled home to Dublin after playing a gig in Banbridge, County Down, on 31 July 1975. The band was stopped by an official military checkpoint set up by members of the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment who were also members of the unionist death squad, the Ulster Volunteer Force. A bomb being planted in the van by the UDR soldiers detonated prematurely, killing the two UDR soldiers instantly. Three members of the Miami were killed in a rake of gunfire by the rest of the UDR/UVF gang. Stephen Travers was seriously wounded.
There have been persistent, credible reports that the attack was one of a number planned by British Military Intelligence officer Captain Robert Nairac using the UVF as British Army surrogates.

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