Wolfe Tones claim that GAA warned it about UVF attack is ‘pure fantasy’ says Miami Showband survivor

The Miami Showband, who were ambushed by the UVF in 1975.
The Miami Showband, who were ambushed by the UVF in 1975.

A survivor of the Miami Showband atrocity has branded claims by the Wolfe Tones that they were the intended target as “pure fantasy”.

Stephen Travers was a member of the Miami Showband, which saw three members killed in a gun and bomb attack by the UVF on the A1 in 1975 after a gig in Banbridge.

However, now the lead singer of the Wolfe Tones has said he believes his band was the intended target.

Speaking on a podcast, Brian Warfield, said that shortly before the Miami Showband attack, his band were warned by GAA officials in Kilkeel that their lives were at risk.

“I believe the massacre of the Miami was set up for the Wolfe Tones on that night,” he said.

Recalling a gig they played in Kilkeel, he said they were brought to a pub for a meal before the gig, but because “the RUC and the UDR were drinking in the front bar”, the band ate in a kitchen instead.

“After the gig I came out and the organisers said to me ‘you can’t go home the main road’. I said why is that and he said ‘because there is a blockade waiting for you down there’.”

He added: “I believe that the Glenanne Gang were drinking in that front bar ... getting locked out of their mind ready to pick up the Wolfe Tones on the way home.”

However, a spokesperson for the Miami Showband Justice Campaign told the Irish News it was the first time they had ever heard the allegation.

“The attack on the Miami was carefully planned and the band were always the intended target,” the spokesman said.

However Miami survivor Stephen Travers dismissed the claims in a Tweet.

“I’ll say no more about this but anyone who knows anything about those responsible for The Miami Showband Massacre or about our current legal action against the British authorities will see, instantly, that this is pure fantasy,” he said.