Shocking new documents have disclosed that British Army intelligence officer Robert Nairac was responsible for the planning and execution of the Miami Showband Massacre, in which three innocent band-members were killed.
The previously unseen British army documents were released as part of a legal action to lawyer Michael Flanigan, who represents Fran O’Toole’s widow, Valerie Andersen.
Three band members died when loyalist killers stopped their minibus at a bogus military checkpoint near Banbridge in County Down in July 1975, exploded a bomb and then opened fire.
The gunmen threw a timebomb into the minibus to make it seem as though the group had been transporting it, but it exploded prematurely, killing two of them. The remaining gunmen then opened fire on the band, killing lead singer Fran O’Toole and two other band members, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty.
The attack was carried out by members the Glenanne Gang, which included members of the Crown Forces and unionist paramilitaries.
Nairac has previously been connected to loyalist murders, but this is the first time British military documents naming him have been made public. Captured and killed by the Provisional IRA in 1977, his body was never found.
The file claims that the British soldier was responsible for the planning and execution of the attack. It is understood the redacted documents also indicate that he obtained the equipment and uniforms for the killers.
Survivors, including justice campaigner Stephen Travers, have previously insisted a member of the death squad spoke with an English accent. Mr Travers said that when he learned of the document it was a vindication but also a “huge disappointment”.
“It was the British Army involved in the planning an execution,” he said.
It is believed many of the documents provided to Mr Flanigan have been redacted and that public interest immunity certificates (censorship orders) have also been issued.
Mr Flanigan said collusion is now “self-evident” in the Miami Showband Massacre.
“This is a case where collusion is self-evident and in those circumstances it is of concern that the defendants are seeking to rely so heavily on Public Interest immunity,” he said.
“We feel the state should be as open as possible in a case of this nature and will be asking the court to look at this issue.”