Des ‘Lee’ McAlea has called for Dublin to install a “proper monument” to those who died in the Miami Showband Massacre.
On July 31st 1975, three members of the popular band were stopped at a fake British Army checkpoint near Newry by members of the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Regiment.
Singer Fran O'Toole, guitarist Tony Geraghty and trumpeter Brian McCoy all died when the killers opened fire on them.
Band members Des McAlea and Stephen Travers both survived, despite being injured in the attack.
In 2007, a monument to the dead was unveiled by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on Dublin’s Parnell Square - but survivor Mr McAlea feels it does not do his friends justice.
“Nobody sees the monument in Parnell Square,” he told The Pat Kenny Show.
“I don’t know why they wanted to put the monument in Parnell Square.
“It’s barely visible.”
Mr McAlea said authorities should build a “proper monument” and it should be located somewhere else in Dublin.
He also said he is liaising with authorities in Newry, close to where the massacre took place, to have a monument installed there too.
Another “sore point” for Mr McAlea is the bridge named after Fran O’Toole in his hometown of Bray.
The town council has recently restored the sign with the bridge’s name on it - but Mr McAlea wants an explanatory plaque to be put up as well.
“I said to the politicians in Bray, ‘What’s the point in having a bridge called ‘Fran O’Toole Bridge’?” he said.
“If you’re a tourist and you see this from anywhere else in the world and you see this Fran O’Toole bridge, what’s the first question you’re going to ask?
“‘Who is Fran O’Toole?’”
Local authorities are now in consultation with Mr McAlea and O’Toole family about the proper wording for such a plaque.
Main image: Des Lee. Picture by: RollingNews.ie