August 5th, 1969 the UVF attacks RTÉ

Today marks a dubious anniversary. On August 5th, 1969, The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) accomplished its first bombing in the Republic of Ireland. The attack was centered on the RTÉ Television Center in Donnybrook, Dublin. Luckily, no one was injured in the blast and only the facade and a few windows were destroyed. The main transmitting tower was spared in the explosion and security increased immediately to prevent any further attacks on the station.
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Miami Showband Massacre

Throughout history there are not many instances that one can absolutely prove that a horrible crime was just a part of a scheme that would have led to something much, much worse. The Miami Showband killings in Ireland is one of those times and it is an appalling lesson of just how brutal and insane the Troubles could get. It  is also a clear cut example of how involved the authorities were in some of the most heinous crimes of the era.

Showbands were quite a popular phenomenon in Ireland. The uniqueness of the showband was documented in the film “The Commitments” which was popular throughout the world. These bands usually had five to ten members and were loved for playing showtunes, pop music, jazz and down home rock n roll greats.  Many played the favorite traditional tunes of the area as well and they were extremely popular from the 50s right up until the mid-seventies. It’s amazing how quickly attendance and participation waned when one was targeted so ruthlessly by the paramilitaries of the UVF. Continue reading