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, 19 June 1998:
Call for public inquiry into Ludlow murder
The Government is being asked to initiate a public inquiry to examine all aspects of the murder of Seamus Ludlow in 1976.
The motion was put by Councillor Tommy Reilly at last Monday's Louth County Council meeting, who took 11 minutes to read a summary of the case.
At the outset, Colr. Reilly pointed that he was representing the family of Seamus Ludlow, from Mountpleasant and his nephew, Jimmy Sharkey.
On Saturday 1st May 1976 Seamus Ludlow (47), a forestry worker returned home from working for his employer in a sawmills works at Ravensdale, he stated. Having had lunch and washed he left for Dundalk at 3.15 pm.
"On Sunday 2nd May 1976 his sister, Mrs Nan Sharkey, with whom he lived, realised he had not returned home, she got into a distressed and panicked state as this is not what Seamus would have done ordinarily".
At about 11.30 am all his family were out looking for him. At around 3 pm, two people who were out walking down a lane off the Bog Road about one mile from Seamus' home, discovered the body lying on his back in a ditch.
The Gardai started their murder investigation on the same day, 2nd May 1976, for three to four weeks the Gardai intensified their investigations.
About the fourth week, suddenly and abruptly, the Gardai were taken off the case.
"No reason was ever given for this", stated the submission. "In fact certain detectives became hostile and abusive towards the family. Elements within the Special Branch in Dundalk at that time put out the story that Seamus was murdered by the Provisional IRA".
The IRA discounted this theory state Colr Reilly when four days after the funeral four well known Republicans came personally to the Ludlow home and told the family that the IRA had nothing to do with the murder.
"The inquest into Seamus' murder was held on Thursday 19th August. No members of his family were informed or present at the inquest. A Garda Sergeant said he represented and spoke for the family. This was not true".
About three years ago an investigative journalist came to his relatrives with new information about the murder, the family wrote to the then Police Commissioner, Patrick Culligan, asking him to re-open the case, which was done on 16th May 1996.
In February of this year, a number of senior Special Branch Detectives from Dublin and Dundalk went to Belfast to assist the RUC, in questioning of four prime suspect Loyalist terrorists with Red Hand Commando links, of which two or three were members of the Ulster Defence Regiment.
He raised the account of Paul Hosking, who has publicly admitted to being in the company of three men who kidnapped Seamus Ludlow.
"Seamus Ludlow's family and relatives are demanding that an independent judicial public inquiry be held into the whole affair about the murder, both north and south of the border".
Seconding, Colr. Sean Keenan said we were only now getting somewhere near the truth, adding the blame was laid at the feet of the IRA "which was a damn lie".
Supporting it, Colr. Michael O'Donnell stated that he was a neighbour of the victim and recalled Gardai pointing the finger of suspicion at neighbours.
"The sooner the worms are taken out from under the stones in this case the better", he stated, a dead man's character had been taken away.
Colr Bernard Markey offered the opinion that there (was) a climate at the time not to reveal the full truth. Such a climate was bad in retrospect, he claimed, adding that there was a need for a similar body in Ireland to the South African Truth Commission.
The motion was supported by all members present.