Incidents from 1975 - 1976
Miami Showband murders, Dundalk & and Castleblayney bombings


Dublin 20th Jan 1972


Miami Showband murders - 31st July 1975

Three members of the Miami Showband were killed on 31 July 1975 while returning to Dublin from a gig in the Castle Ballroom,Banbridge, County Down. Their minibus was stopped at a VCP manned by members of the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Ulster Volunteer Force. Two of the loyalists attempted to place a bomb on the minibus, which exploded prematurely, killing Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville. The other members of the gang immediately opened fire on the band members, which left Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty dead. Two members of the band survived - Stephen Travers and Desmond McAlea. This attack, like Dublin and Monaghan, Dundalk and Castleblayney, is linked to the Glenanne gang.


Dundalk bombing - 19th December 1975

On 19 December 1975, at 6.20 pm, a no-warning car bomb exploded outside a licensed premises known as Kay's Tavern, Crowe Street, Dundalk, County Louth. The car bombings caused two deaths, many injuries and significant property damage. Almost exactly three hours later that same evening, a gun and bomb attack was carried out at Donnelly's Bar, Silverbridge, County Armagh in Northern Ireland, in which three people were killed. Police on both sides of the border believed the two attacks were linked.

The two victims of the Dundalk bombing were Hugh Watters, a 61-year-old tailor and married father of four who was killed instantly and Jack Rooney, aged 62, worked as a fireman for the local council, survived for three days before succumbing to his injuries. Twenty people were injured, many of them seriously. The Red Hand Commando claimed responsibility for both the Dundalk bombing and the Silverbridge gun and bomb attack.

According to Judge Barron, several of the suspects for the Dundalk bombing were the same as those named for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Nobody has ever been charged, much less convicted, of the Dundalk bombing.


Castleblayney bombing - 7th March 1976

Less than three months later, the same gang hit Castleblayney on a Sunday evening. On 7 March 1976, at 8.20 pm, a no-warning car bomb exploded outside the Three Star Inn, killing Patrick (Packie) Mone instantly. Packie was 56 years old and was married to Anna. He was a bicycle-mechanic by trade. Despite immediate medical attention, he died in the ambulance on his way to hospital.

Seventeen people were injured by the bomb, which caused extensive damage to surrounding buildings. It is believed that the intended target was the Derry-Dublin bus. It was said that you 'could set your clock by it'. The bus was due at 8.20 pm but, on this occasion, it was two minutes late because it had been held up at a Garda checkpoint outside the town.

As is the case with all the other bombings that occurred in the Republic of Ireland in the 1970s, nobody was ever charged or convicted of this attack.