The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?







Please return for updates and important developments.    This photograph of Seamus Ludlow was taken later in his life.This is a youthful photograph of Seamus Ludlow, taken several years before his murder.This memorial stone marks the place where the dead body of Seamus Ludlow was discovered on Sunday 2nd. May, 1976. This new stone recently replaced another stone.




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An Phoblacht/Republican News, 16 December 1999:

Ludlow family distressed by meeting

By Laura Friel

"For 23 years we were told lies by the Gardai and the state and Seamus Ludlow's name was smeared," says Jimmy Sharkey. The body of Seamus Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker, was discovered in a lane at Culfore, near Dundalk in May 1976. He had been shot three times. He was last seen thumbing a lift outside a pub near Dundalk.

Speaking after a meeting last week with Dublin's Justice Minister John O'Donoghue, the nephew of the dead man described the attitude of the Minister as "hostile" and accused the Dublin Government of "dragging its heels".

The meeting at Leinster House was attended by a brother, two nephews, the family's solicitor and Jane Winter of British Irish Rights Watch. Jane Winter said she had been shocked at the way the Ludlow family had been treated but also spoke of positive comments towards the end of the meeting.

However the Minister did not concede to the family's request for a public rather than Private inquiry into the killing. He remained unsure and invited the family to make further submissions.

After the killing the Garda led the Ludlow family to believe that the killing had been carried out by republicans with the assistance of other family members. The deep rift that resulted within the family was only recently resolved when a witness purporting to be one of four men in the car which picked up Ludlow and later dumped his body, came forward.

Paul Hosking from Newtownards claimed Ludlow had been shot dead minutes after accepting a lift. Hosking said all three men involved in the killing were members of the loyalist Red Hand Commando, two were members of the UDR. Hosking also claims that that he had told RUC Special Branch the full story in 1987 but was advised to "forget it" because the case was political.

At the time of the killing, local people believed Ludlow, in a case of mistaken identity, had been shot dead by the British SAS. The suspicion was fuelled by the discovery of covert SAS activity in the area at the time. A short time later eight SAS soldiers were arrested south of the border and charged with weapons offences.

The Ludlow murder took place during a time when British SAS were involved in running loyalist death squads in South Armagh. The possibility of British collusion in Ludlow's death has recently gained momentum with the exposure of a cover-up by the crown and the Gardai on both sides of the border. Despite persistent petitioning by the Ludlow family, the Dublin Government has remained reluctant to hold a public inquiry into the killing.

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The Sunday Tribune, Sunday 17 October 1999, by Ed Moloney: North's DPP has decided not to charge Loyalists arrested in connection with Ludlow killing

The Irish Times,  20 October 1999: DPP decides against Ludlow case charges

The Irish News, 20 October 1999: Relatives reject "cover-up" inquiry

The Irish News, 21 October 1999: SF calls for inquiry into '76 murder

An Phoblacht/Republican News, 21 October 1999: No prosecutions in Ludlow case Call on Taoiseach to revise decision on 'private' inquiry

The Argus, 22 October 1999: RUC decide not to prosecute the men who admit to the murder

The Dundalk Democrat, 23 October 1999: No prosecution in Ludlow murder

An Phoblacht/Republican News, 4 November 1999: Taoiseach to "reassess'' Ludlow case

The Dundalk Democrat, 6 November 1999: TD's questions about Ludlow case

The Irish Independent, 8 November 1999: Wilson supports extradition of four

Further meetings with John O'Donoghue.

The Dundalk Democrat, 19 May 2001: Justice Minister meets murder victims' families

The Sunday Tribune, 20 May 2001: Inquiry into Louth murder criticised

The Dundalk Democrat, 26 May 2001: Ludlow relatives have further meeting with minister

Sunday Business Post, 17 June 2001: Murdered man's family says justice minister was `hostile'


Last Edited : 18 March 2002