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







3 July 2002 - The Irish Attorney General has directed the Coroner for County Louth to hold a fresh inquest into the death of Seamus Ludlow.  . . . . 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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Celtic League, 14 September 2003:



It has been reported that the trial in Ireland of the alleged leader of the Real IRA, Michael McKevitt, is close to collapse because of a failure of the British and US governments to hand over Intelligence files

Much of the evidence being withheld apparently relates to the testimony of an informant in the US who purportedly infiltrated the organisation after its formation following a Republican split.

However, as we warned in Celtic News No. 308 the actions against McKevitt were predicated around flawed judicial procedures in the first place. Like many others over the years he has been detained and prosecuted state Act (OASA) which have been condemned Internationally. The OASA provisions were further strengthened following the understandable wave of anger that swept through Ireland following the terrible Omagh bombing.

It now seems his case will 'hang or fall' on the basis of questionable information from a US informer and the involvement of the British Intelligence Services.

The legitimate involvement of this latter body is open to question in Ireland with a lasting suspicion that its full role in the horrendous bombings in Monaghan and Dublin is yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile in a further twist to the McKevitt case it appears that major credence will be placed by the prosecution on evidence to be provided by the British Ambassador to the Irish Republic who unusually has waived diplomatic immunity and agreed to give evidence.

McKevitt's lawyers have in preliminary hearings properly questioned the Ambassadors, Sir Ivor Ruperts, credibility.

Should McKevitt's case be pursued and he is convicted it is highly questionable that any conviction will stand scrutiny in the Appeal court or in International forums. Even if McKevitt is the villain that he is painted he has a basic right to 'due process'. However, the machinations to date of this case suggest that conviction at all costs is driving the case and not adherence to the rule of law.

If the Irish Government were determined to get to grips with the problems of residual terrorism which followed the peace process in Ireland they would have been well advised to base any prosecutions soundly.

Meanwhile, the British Ambassadors willingness to waive his immunity on this issue so as to ensure McKevitt's conviction sits uncomfortably when matched with British Government reluctance to come clean about their role in the deaths of many innocent Irish people during the cross-border dirty war they pursued for two decades.

We have written to Sir Ivor asking if the new spirit of openness and cooperation between the British and Irish government, which has seen him waive his immunity to appear as a witness in the case, will extend to furnish all information and files on possible British direct involvement or collusion with paramilitary groups over the past thirty years in the Republic of Ireland.

All those involved in the perpetration of acts of terrorism which have caused the deaths of innocent people in Ireland deserve to be brought to justice be they gang-masters of paramilitary groups or those who still sit comfortably in the offices of British Intelligence or enjoy 'pensions' earned during this infamous period.

Bernard Moffatt

Secretary General

Celtic League


Copy of letter to British Embassy - Dublin:

Sir Ivor Roberts

British Ambassador to Ireland

31 Merrion Road

Dublin 4

Republic of Ireland


Dear  Sir Ivor,

                   I understand that you have waived diplomatic immunity to provide evidence in a forthcoming criminal case in Ireland. I do not wish to comment on the specifics of the case as this might be prejudicial.

I would however observe that any assistance that you or the British government provide generally to the Government of Ireland which helps to ensure the security of the State is extremely positive.

You will of course be aware that over the past thirty years the violence so endemic in N. Ireland prior to the peace process periodically spilled over the border and claimed the lives of many innocent people, ruined the quality of life for others, through injury and trauma, and blighted the tranquility of many families.

Several high-profile cases including instances of multiple deaths and injury, such as the Monaghan and Dublin bombings and individual cases, such as the murder of Seamus Ludlow, carry with them a strong suspicion amongst commentators and relatives of involvement of the British military.

Specifically it is alleged that elements of the British military were involved directly, or organised surrogates amongst the paramilitary of N. Ireland, to pursue what has been described as a 'dirty war' in Ireland.

Given that your office now seems prepared to extend assistance can we ask if this will extend to other contentious enquiries about terrorist activity in Ireland. Specifically, will it encompass the furnishing of all information and files on possible direct involvement, or collusion with paramilitary groups by British Intelligence, which has caused the innocent deaths of civilians over the past thirty years in the Republic of Ireland. This would assist enquiries currently in hand, or mooted, by the Irish government?

All those involved in the perpetration of acts of terrorism which have caused the deaths of innocent people in Ireland deserve to be brought to justice be they gang-masters of paramilitary groups or those who still sit comfortably in the offices of British Intelligence or enjoy 'pensions' earned during this infamous period.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt

Secretary General

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It focuses on human rights abuse and civil liberty issues and also monitors the impact of military activity.

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Previous Statements from the Celtic League







                                Press Reports

The Argus, 27 August 1976: Inquest hears of North Louth shooting

Monaghan County of Intrigue (1979) by the late Michael Cunningham: Quoting from Mr. Cunningham's account of his private investigation of Seamus Ludlow's murder. 

The Argus, special report 30 August 1985: On May 1st 1974, a forestry worker left his home to go for a drink: the following day his bullet riddled body was found. Nine years later we ask: WHO KILLED SEAMUS LUDLOW?

The Irish Independent, 19 July 2002: Fresh inquest into death of murdered man

The Irish News, 19 July 2002: Family welcome inquest 26 years after murder

The Irish Times, 19 July 2002: New inquest ordered into Louth man's death

The Dundalk Democrat, 20 July 2002: Second inquest to be held into the death of Seamus Ludlow

The Irish Examiner Online - Breaking News, 29 July 2002: Call for public inquiry into 1976 murder


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Revised: January 12, 2003 .