The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?
Introduction to the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the official cover-up.
The recent Campaign for Truth and Justice.
Other Ludlow Family Sites.
The Argus, 3 July 1998:
Charges may help resolve a 22 year mystery
File Prepared on Ludlow murder
A file has been prepared by the RUC and charges may well follow shortly on the murder of Seamus Ludlow (47), a forestry worker from Mountpleasant, Dundalk, whose death, 22 years ago, has remained one of the biggest mysteries of the Northern troubles.
Gardai who are working closely with the RUC on the investigation, which has been given new impetus in recent months, have confirmed that a file is complete and a decision on charges is awaited from the NI Director of Public Prosecutions.
One of the suspects is a former captain in the UDR, part of a Loyalist gang who are thought to have abducted Mr Ludlow and shot him. "He appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time", said a Garda spokesman.
It was on Saturday, 1st May 1976 that Seamus Ludlow returned home from working for his employer in a sawmills at Ravensdale.
Having had lunch, he washed and left for Dundalk around 3.15 pm. There he visited a number of pubs, the last being the Lisdoo Arms, and was making his way to his home at Thistle Cross, where he lived with his elderly mother, when he was picked up in a car, and never seen alive again.
It was realised the next morning that he hadn't returned home, and all his family initiated a search for him.
At around 3 pm, two people out walking a dog down a lane off the Bog Road about a mile from the deceased's home, when they discovered the body of a man lying on his back in a ditch, which subsequently was identified as being that of Mr Ludlow.
A full Garda investigation was held into the murder, and there was speculation at the time that he had been killed by the Provisional IRA on the grounds that as a forestry worker, he may have seen something he shouldn't have seen, and was murdered for his silence.
That theory has since been discounted, but evidence came into the public domain earlier this year that would seem to point the finger at Loyalist involvement in the murder.
A witness came forward who revealed that he had been drinking with three others, one a Captain in the UDR, and another an officer in the regiment, in a bar in Comber, when they decided to go south.
They drove into Omeath, and then on to Dundalk, where they picked on Mr Ludlow, who was hitching a lift on the Newry Road, the witness said.
While the witness was out of the car going to the toilet, he heard the shots which killed Mr Ludlow, and his body was dumped in a hedge.
The three involved were linked to the Red Hand Commando, and according to the witness, they threatened him not to reveal what had happened.
But the witness claimed he was questioned by the RUC in 1986 about the murder, and revealed the names of those involved, but that nothing was done at that time.
It is understood that in February, a number of senior Special Branch Detectives from Dublin and Dundalk went to Belfast to assist the RUC in the investigation into the murder.
And at last month's Louth County Council meeting, Colr. Tommy Reilly had a motion passed calling on the Government to initiate a public inquiry to examine all aspects of the murder of Seamus Ludlow.