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.





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Last Edited: July 13, 2005  

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Chronology: 2000-?

This Chronology in the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice for Seamus Ludlow continues the chronology that is featured in the Ludlow family's original site for the Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Campaign. That chronology from May 1976 to February 2000 covers four pages.

Here are links to the four pages of that chronology:

Page 1.       Page 2.               Page 3.                   Page 4.            Page 5.               Page 6.

The Ludlow family's original website went online in January 2000 and by the end of February it was featured on several search engines and online directories. Links to that site can be found on, or it has been submitted to:

 Yahoo (UK and Ireland),


  Link Centre.Com,

  AAA Matilda Europe,

  AAA Matilda USA,

  AAA Matilda (Australia),

  Boomerang (Australia),

  LookSmart UK.

 WhatsNew2 (Australia),

  Whats New4 USA.


  Exploit the Net,


  Anzwers (Australia/New Zealand),

  Irish Links Network.


 Searc's Web Guide to Irish Resources.

Doras Review of Irish Sites.   (See review below).

Com Find.

Voila (France).

Savvy Search.

National Directory.

Northern Light.

America Online.

Louthonline.    (See article below.)

Submissions have been made to other sites in the USA, Australia, Britain and Ireland. Both Ludlow family sites have been submitted to many Irish American organisations, along with requests for support. The response from many of these bodies has been very favourable, with a number of individuals beginning letter writing and internet networking campaigns on the Ludlow family's behalf.

It is expected that future developments will ensure that this chronology will be extended for some time to come, and further pages will be added.

Another version of this site with the domain name can also be accessed from several of the major search engines.

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.  

31 January 2000 - The Private Secretary at the office of the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. John O'Donoghue, TD, wrote to the Ludlow family's solicitor:

"The Minister believes that including the case of the late Mr. Ludlow as part of the remit of Mr. Justice Hamilton would be the most appropriate way to address the concerns which have been expressed about this case. Accordingly, he has asked me to tell you that he is minded to recommend to his colleagues in Government that the case be included in the remit of Mr. Justice Hamilton.

"In the circumstances he would be grateful if you would ascertain and let him know what the attitude of Mr. Ludlow's relatives would be to this approach. As Mr. Justice Hamilton will be commencing his work very shortly it would be very much appreciated if you could respond to the Minister's proposal within the next week."

Note: Mr. Justice Liam Hamilton, outgoing Chief Justice, just recently retired, was invited by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, in a statement of 19th December 1999, to "undertake a thorough examination of all aspects of the Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings and their sequel . . ." (See page on the Hamilton Inquiry), but significantly there was no mention of the Seamus Ludlow murder on that occasion. So, what had changed since then?

Significantly, the Private Secretary to the Minister for Justice remained silent in the above letter on the important issue of the  releasing of the Garda Report. (See further correspondence of 25 February 2000 and Taoiseach's questions of 23 May 2000.)

10 February 2000 - The English local newspaper The Post, in Staffordshire, reported the recent conviction and sentencing of Samuel Black-Carroll (who is known as Mambo) to a term of 2 years and eight months of imprisonment. The defendant, charged with assaulting a man with the butt end of a snooker cue, was one of four Loyalists arrested by the RUC in February 1998, for questioning about the murder of Seamus Ludlow.

The Post reported as follows:

Semtex jibe led to violence.

A Rugeley man, once suspected of being a terrorist was jailed for two years and eight months by a court on Monday for attacking a man he claimed called him "Semtex Sam."

Samuel Black-Carroll inflicted "wicked" head injuries to Ivan Shirley when he attacked him with a weapon thought to be the butt end of a snooker cue, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Assistant Recorder, John Aucott, told 47 year old Black-Carroll he accepted he had been subjected to verbal abuse. "But there was no justification in allowing it to boil over into violence," he added.

"You exhibited all the hallmarks of a terrorist - an occupation you profess to despise."

Black-Carroll, who was arrested in 1998 by the RUC, had been convicted by a jury at Stafford Crown Court of wounding. The Irishman of Redbrook Lane, Brereton, Rugeley, had also been convicted at the end of his trial on two charges of criminal damage.

Mr. Peter Carr, defending, said Black-Carroll had been the target of all sorts of remarks and, on this occasion, it was "a comment too far."

See also a later report in the Sunday World newspaper dated 2 April 2000.

18 February 2000 - The Ludlow family was kindly invited to send a representative as an observer to a conference to be  hosted in a Lisnaskea hotel by Firinne (formerly VOICE), an organisation representing the victims of State violence in County Fermanagh, on 26th February.

 Firinne was set up just over a year previously "after it became apparent that victims of State violence were not given equal status with other victims of the troubles".

Firinne's two main aims are:

"firstly, to gain recognition from the State that these events occurred and secondly, to document peoples' experiences to help with the healing process and to provide a true account of events surrounding the conflict for future generations.

"Firinne represents families of victims either directly murdered by State forces, or where collusion is suspected. Victims of intimidation, harassment, arrests, death threats and displaced people are also represented."

25 February 2000 - Further to the above correspondence (31 January) from the Department of Justice, Dublin, the Ludlow family's solicitor in reply brought up once again the particular issue of receiving a copy of the Gardai's Investigation Report. The reply noted the Irish Government's views expressed in relation to the case of the late Pat Finucane and pointed out that there were striking similarities as to issues that arise in that case and in the case of Seamus Ludlow. On behalf of the Ludlow family the solicitor emphasised the view that the case for a public inquiry is both compelling and unanswerable.

26 February 2000 - Kevin Ludlow represented the Ludlow family at the Firinne conference at Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. The Ludlow family was delighted to receive an invitation and it wishes Firinne well in all its endeavours in the months ahead.

29 February 2000 - This new site went online for the first time, though it was still under construction.

6 March 2000 - The Ludlow family's solicitor reported back on a recent meeting he attended at the Department of Justice about another matter entirely, when he raised the issue of a Seamus Ludlow inquiry. He reported that the Department of justice "obviously felt that we would be agreeing to the matter going into a Hamilton type pre-public enquiry Commission of Enquiry.

"I indicated that the view of the family was strongly to the effect that the public enquiry and nothing less was called for. I said that the first step towards advancing the matter would of course be to make available to us the internal Garda investigation file."

The proposed linking of the Seamus Ludlow case to the already running Hamilton Inquiry would later be the subject of Taoiseach's questions at Leinster House, Dublin.

7 March 2000 - Here is the Doras Review of Sites' review for the Ludlow family's first site. Although Doras, using its own criteria, awards only two shamrocks out of a possible five it does have kind things to say about the site which was constructed without  professional help. The Ludlow family appreciates the trouble that the people at Doras have taken in reviewing our site.

The Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Campaign
This website covers the murder of Seamus Ludlow, a 47 year old man who was murdered near Dundalk in 1976. The homepage contains an in-depth analysis of Ludlow's murder and its consequences. There are links to press reports from 1976 to 1999. The site includes new information about the murder as well as an independent report produced in 1998 by the human rights body, British Irish Rights Watch.
This is a well laid out and thought provoking website.

8 March 2000 - Messages promoting the Ludlow family's first website were posted on the following bulletin boards in the United States: The Toledo Irish-American Club; and Irish American Net. Messages have been posted to several other Irish groups and newspapers in the United States, Britain, and Australia.

8 March 2000 - A message of support was received from Cathleen O'Brien of the Friends of Irish Freedom organisation, New York. The kind message included the following important remark:

 "I do not recall reading about Seamus in the papers over here. But that does not surprise me. There is often a "blackout" on news from Ireland, especially if there has been some sort of cover-up!" 

Cathleen has remained in contact with the Ludlow family. Her support is appreciated.

13 March 2000 - In a letter to the Ludlow family, Mr. Adam Ingram JP MP, Minister of State, at the Northern Ireland Office, London, responding to previous correspondence of 24 October 1999 with Mr. Tony Benn MP.

The Minister wrote:

"I am advised that information relating to the murder of your uncle was passed by the RUC to the Garda in 1979. The Garda requested the assistance of the RUC in 1997 which resulted in the four arrests. All four were released without charge.

"As you know the DPP after careful consideration of the police investigation file concluded there was insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction against anyone named in the file and they therefore directed no prosecution on the case. If any new evidence comes to light or you have further information about the murder the police would be keen to pursue it.

"With regard to your suggestions of a cover-up there is no evidence to suggest that this occurred or continues to take place.

"Let me assure you that the police will do all they can to bring to justice those responsible for this terrible crime."

This was probably the first written confirmation from the British authorities that information on the killing of Seamus Ludlow was passed from the RUC to the Gardai in 1979. Given that the RUC and the Gardai had important information back in 1979 it seems strange to say the least that the Ludlow family would be invited to do the RUC's job for them. 

As for the suggestion that there has been no cover-up, and that none continues, there is nothing here to support that view. Indeed, by the Minister's own admission the RUC and the Gardai had "information relating to the murder" in 1979. 

That admission coupled with the authorities' failure to bring such information to the attention of the Ludlow family and the fact that neither force did anything to pursue it for nearly twenty years, provides compelling evidence of a past cover-up. The continuing failure of both the RUC and the Gardai to give the Ludlow family access to their investigation files and the authorities' refusal to grant a public inquiry can only support strong suspicions of the cover-up continuing.

28 March 2000 - The Pat Finucane Centre (pfc) in Derry kindly published the following review for this new Ludlow family website in their mailing list newsletter:

The family of murdered Dundalk forestry worker, Seamus Ludlow, have created an excellent website which we would urge all subscribers to visit and bookmark. Seamus was kidnapped and murdered in 1976 by a gang of men from the loyalist Red Hand Commandoes. At least one gang member was also a member of the locally recruited Ulster Defence Regiment, a regiment of the British Army. There are well founded suspicions that the names and activities of this death squad were known to authorities on both sides of the border who chose not to take action because of the security force connections of the gang. One suspected member of the group was recently convicted and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison in Rugeley, Staffordshire, England, for assaulting a man who called him 'semtex sam'. The Ludlow family are pressing for an inquiry into the murder. New website at Extensive information on the case also available at pfc website
This new website was also published in the Pat Finucane Centre's own  website and almost immediately its guest book  began attracting messages of support from people in Ireland, the United States and Britain.

The Ludlow family appreciates all of the excellent support that their good friends at the Pat Finucane Centre have given to their campaign for truth and justice. The Pat Finucane Centre also gives excellent support to a large number of families engaged in the same fight for justice against state-sponsored murder and injustice - and at this time they are particularly active in supporting the families of the innocent  Bloody Sunday victims, for whom the British Saville Inquiry began public sessions at Derry's Guildhall on Monday 27th. March. 

The Pat Finucane Centre also gives vital support to campaigns for truth and justice for the family's of murdered human rights lawyers Pat Finucane (after whom the centre takes its name) and Rosemary Nelson, as well as the families of Robert Hamill, Peter McBride and the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

2 April 2000 - The northern edition of the Sunday World newspaper (on page 21) published an article headlined:

  "Semtex Sam" Snookered He's sentenced to two years jail after battering Englishman with a cue.

The half-page report featured a photograph of the English resident defendent who was one of the suspects arrested by the RUC in February 1998 for questioning about his alleged role in the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow. 

See also the above report in the English newspaper The Post, dated 10 February 2000.

3 April  2000 - Issue 65 of Louth Online, the excellent website featuring many items of particular interest to the people of County Louth added a link to the Ludlow family's first site in its Community Links directory page. The site's homepage featured the following brief  article and an accompanying photograph of the late Seamus Ludlow:


Irishman Seamus Ludlow was a Catholic bachelor. Aged 47 and a forestry worker from Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, Dundalk, County Louth, just south of the border, he was abducted and murdered on his way home from a Dundalk pub, in County Louth, by pro-British Loyalist UDR/Red Hand Commando gunmen on 2 May 1976. He was abducted after he left a Dundalk public house on the Saturday night. It is believed that Seamus had unwittingly accepted a lift offered by his killers, who did not know him. He may have been murdered simply because he was a Catholic, or because he was mistaken for another intended victim. Twenty-five years after his death his killers have not yet been brought to justice. Many fear a joint North-South coverup is in effect. Pressure is increasing, however, for the government to review the murder investigation. For more information visit the Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Website.

Seamus Ludlow

The Ludlow family thanks Louth Online for giving The Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Campaign's first site such prominence on their site.

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Last Updated: 13/07/05 07:56:59

Copyright 2005 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 13, 2005 .