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.
set for second inquest into Seamus Ludlow murder
date has been set for the second inquest into the death of Seamus Ludlow,
the Mountpleasant man who was abducted and killed by loyalists almost thirty
preliminary hearing held yesterday (Tuesday) to discuss the scope of the new
inquest, County Coroner Mr. Ronan Maguire set Monday 5th September as the
date that the hearing will begin.
asked the legal representatives for Mr. Ludlow's relatives and for the Garda
Commissioner to prepare written submissions outlining their views on the
scope of the inquest.
the outset of the hearing in Dundalk courthouse, Mr. Maguire said that the
holding of the second inquest would be the end of a long road for the
read from the letter which the Attorney General had sent him instructing him
to hold the new inquest.
it, the Attorney General had outlined how the first inquest with a jury
had taken place on August 19th 1976 and arising from complaints
considered by him by members of the family that they had been denied
participation in the original inquest, he held that this had been rendered
evidence regarding the death of Mr. Ludlow had not been available and there
had been no ballistic evidence regarding the bullets used in the killing.
Attorney General also stated that the report of the British Irish Rights
Watch and the allegations regarding Seamus Ludlow's death appeared to be
relevant to the hearing.
Maguire acknowledged that the new inquest will be a "difficult
told the family that the while it was an inquiry held in public it was not a
public inquiry such as on-going tribunals.
are held under the 1962 Coroners Act for the purpose of ascertaining the
identity of the person had died, when, where and how they had died. While an
inquest could look into the surrounding circumstances to some degree it
could not adjudicate on civil or criminal liability and can never blame
anyone or exonerate anyone."That would be to trespass into the
jurisdiction of the courts," sad Mr. Maguire.
James MacGuill, solicitor for Mr Ludlow's relatives, said they accepted that
Mr Maguire had the right to determine the scope of the inquest which they
could give valuable assistance to.
hapened to Mr. Ludlow on May 2nd 1976 was clearly a murder but the
investigation into it effectively concluded three weeks later, submitted Mr.
Macguill. He said that when the first inquest was held in August 1976, the
State did not seek an adjournment to allow investigation to continue.
MacGuill urged that the inquiry into Mr. Ludlow's death should br broad in
its scope and that the original Garda investigation should also be
also asked that the information contained in the report by Chief Supt. Ted
Murphy into the original investigation be made available so that the family
would be able to assist the inquest. He asked for the provision of all the
relevant files and forensic reports, saying that to this day the family
hadn't seen the ballistic report.
the exceptionally disquieting nature of the failure to investigate this
case," he urged that a date for the hearing be fixed, pointing out that
some of Mr. Ludlow's relatives were quite elderly and this had been a huge
strain on them.
Kevin Segrave, BL, ofered sympathy to the family of Mr. Ludlow on behalf of
the Garda Commissioner.
said that there would be no difficulty in Mr. Maguire going through the
report which had been furnished to him and determining what material was
relevant and what should be introduced into the inquest by way of
didn't, however, endorse the view that the Coroner should conduct an
investigation, saying the Cononer's purpose was not to conduct a public
were, he argued, tied by law as to type and extent of the inquiry which
could be held.
Segrave revealed that the Assistant Garda Commissioner Culligan was happy to
make himself available to act as a liaison officer with the family.
said that the information regarding the ballistic report would be made
available to Mr. MacGuill.
Maguire said that the report carried out by Chief Supt. Murphy into the
original Garda investigation had been furnished to him on condition that it
remain confidential to him. He believed that his use of it was confined to
formulating the depositions which would be heard at the inquest.
also warned that there would be "a lot of law" in the hearing and
he asked the legal representatives of Mr. Ludlow's family and the Garda
Commission to furnish written submissions outlining their arguments as to
what scope the hearing should have and as to how far the investigation
should go into the Garda investigation.
Maguire also asked that it be determined what witnesses should be
called and what witnesses were still alive.
adjourned the preliminary hearing until June 13th to have these matters
clarified and set Monday 5th Septmber as the date for the full inquest,
which is likely to take two or three days.
warned that while it was incumbent on them to do the best they could for
Seamus Ludlow, they couldn't operate illegally for if the inquest went
beyond the boundary of what was allowed under the Coroner's Act 1962, the
verdict could be struck down by another court.
I Top I
The Irish News, 26 April 2005: Inquest into 1976 murder set to begin
The Belfast Telegraph, 27 April 2005: Second inquest into 1976 Dundalk killing
The Argus (Dundalk), 6 May 2005: Seamus Ludlow Inquest
The Sunday Business Post, 8 May 2005: Coroner to re-examine 1976 murder
I Top I
Copyright © 2005 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 26, 2005 .