Bridge named after Miami Showband's Fran O'Toole
The late Fran O'Toole was remembered with a day of commemoration last Saturday in Bray. Some 40 years after the Bray man died at the age of 29 along with fellow members of the Miami Showband, the bridge connecting the Main Street to Castle Street was renamed in his honour.
A Mass was held earlier in the morning at St Peter's and was also to honour Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty who perished in the incident. Among those in attendance was Fr Brian D'arcy.
Members of the O'Toole family and surviving Miami Showband musicians also attended on the day.
In addition to the bridge naming, a plaque was unveiled in the afternoon at the former O'Toole home on Albert Avenue.
Then the Miami Show Band performed a concert on Saturday night at Mermaid Arts Centre.
Local man Peter Carroll who is a family friend of the O'Toole's was the driving force in the campaign to remember and pay tribute to Fran O'Toole in his home town.
On 31 July 1975, five members of the Miami Showband were travelling by minibus back to Dublin from a gig in Banbridge, County Down.
At the townland of Buskhill, outside of Newry, they were stopped at a bogus military checkpoint by gunmen dressed in British Army uniform, who ordered them to get out and line up by the roadside.
They were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Two of them had hidden a time bomb on the minibus, but it exploded prematurely and killed them.
The remaining gunmen then opened fire on the band members, killing Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty and wounding Des Lee and Stephen Travers.
Cllr John Brady who attended the ceremonies on Saturday said that nothing had been done until now to pay tribute to lead singer Fran.
'The band had a massive following and played in packed out venues right across Ireland, the UK and the United States,' he said.
'The band united people through music and gave people a glimmer of hope at a difficult time in our history.'