3 April 2000 -
Linda Porra, of Irish
Organisations United, in
Massachusetts, in the United States, a new supporter
of the Ludlow family's struggle for truth and
justice, reports that she has written some eighteen
letters on behalf of the Ludlow family's campaign.
Linda has kindly placed a message on this site's
guest book and she has placed a link to the Ludlow
family's first site on her own website.
4 April 2000 -
Linda Porra further reports that she has written an
editorial on the Seamus Ludlow case. This editorial
will be submitted to many newspapers around
Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and
Connecticut. A link to Linda's site can be found on
this site's Links page.
7 April 2000 -
Jim J. Kane, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, also an
activist from Irish
Organisations United, reports that
he and Linda Porra have sent letters to President
Bill Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno, Mary
Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Secretary of State Madeline Albright and to Senator
Ted Kennedy in support of the Ludlow family's demands
for truth and justice. Jim has also placed a message
on this site's guest book. His efforts are deeply
April 2000 - An interesting judgment was delivered in an unrelated
case by Mrs. justice Denham, Irish Supreme Court, in an appeal
arising from a High Court judgment of Mr. Justice P. Morris of 6
March 2000. The applicants had sought judicial review on that
occasion of a ruling made on 8 February 2000 by Mr. Justice Flood,
the Sole Member of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning
Matters and Payments.
it is not the business of the Ludlow family campaign for truth and
justice for Seamus Ludlow, or of this web site, to delve deeply into
the murky details of the latest Dublin tribunal to investigate the
questionable business ethics of certain business and political
figures in the Irish state, there are elements in this ruling which
may support the Ludlow family's demand for a public inquiry.
witnesses involved in the Flood Tribunal had sought leave to give
evidence to the Tribunal in private, but Mr. Justice Flood ruled on
believe in the light of my knowledge of the issues and the events
which have occurred to date that it is appropriate that the
witnesses in question be called before the Tribunal to give
evidence on oath of the matters which are relevant to the
Tribunal's inquiries. It has been urged upon me that in view of
the private nature of the proposed inquiry touching as it does
upon the expenditure of money and acquisition of assets by the
parties that such inquiries should be conducted in private. The
Tribunal of Inquiries Evidence Act specifically provides for the
evidence to be heard in public unless it is expedient to the
public interest that I sit in private. I do not believe that there
are sufficient grounds open to me to conduct the intended
examination of the witnesses in private in the public interest and
accordingly I believe that the examination of the witnesses should
her Supreme Court judgment of 14 April 2000, Mrs. Justice Denham
the applicants have a constitutional right to privacy is beyond
debate. It is equally well established that this is not an
absolute right but one which must in certain circumstances be
weighed against or balanced with the exigencies of the common
good. Again, the common good may require that matters, resolved
by democratically elected representatives in the Houses of the
Oireachtas to be of urgent public importance, be inquired into
by the tribunal. It is of the essence of such tribunals that the
inquiries be held in public. If this is not done public
disquiet, which lead to the appointment of the tribunal, could
not be allayed. . . These principles were correctly analysed and
applied by Mr. Justice Morris in the judgment under appeal. .
Supreme Court ruling occurs in a case totally unrelated to the the
case of Seamus Ludlow, which involves sectarian murder and a
cover-up in the Irish state rather than the planning
irregularities and unspecified bank accounts and payments for
favours rendered which typify many recent scandals. However, it
can be argued that the learned judges in this case could not have
argued better the Ludlow family's case for a public inquiry into
the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
19 April 2000 -
A new version of this site goes
online for the first time. Web specialist Karl Winn
kindly registered the new domain name
"seamusludlow.com" and donated space on
their server for the Ludlow family free of charge.
The Pat Finucane Centre in Derry has agreed to be
named as the address for correspondence.
2000 - The Belfast daily newspaper The Irish News,
reported that the Dublin government:
night signalled its intention to push (British
premier) Tony Blair for an independent public
inquiry into the murder of Catholic man Robert
Bertie Ahern is now expected to demand a new
investigation in the run-up to the third
anniversary of Mr. Hamill's death on May 8.
father-of-three was attacked by a loyalist mob in
Portadown as he walked home after a night out
with friends on April 27 1997. He lost his battle
against severe injuries 11 days later.
Hamill's family last night welcomed the
significant development in their quest to find
the truth behind allegations that RUC officers on
the scene failed to intervene to protect the
the Irish News, a spokesman for the Irish
Department of Foreign Affairs commented: "The
government is giving the most serious consideration
to calling for a public inquiry."
If this report
proves to be well founded, then it is to be greatly applauded
that Dublin should call for a public inquiry into the
sectarian mob murder of Robert Hamill under the very
noses of the RUC in Portadown. Mr. Hamill died several days after he
was viciously assaulted, because he was a Catholic, by a loyalist mob as he and some companions
walked home from a night out in Portadown. Armed RUC personnel,
sitting only yards away in an armoured Land Rover, looked on and did
nothing to save this innocent Catholic man's life.
Many questions remain
regarding the murder of Robert Hamill and many many
other Catholics in the Six Counties, and these
questions certainly justify demands for public
inquiries in the Six County jurisdiction. The Ludlow family supports
all such demands.
justified also, are calls made repeatedly by the
Ludlow family in County
Louth for public inquiries into the murder of Seamus
Ludlow in May 1976. Given the Dublin authorities'
failure to respond to this family's demands regarding
a sectarian murder and cover-up in their own
jurisdiction, it is to be feared that the British
authorities will be less inclined to take Dublin's
further information about the sectarian murder of Robert Hamill, and
his family's campaign for justice, please note that there are links
to several excellent sites on the Ludlow family's Links
page. These include reports from Amnesty International and British
Irish rights Watch)
25 April 2000 -
It is reported that Mr. John Bruton, TD, leader
of Fine Gael, the main opposition party in Dublin, has
added his support to calls for a public inquiry into
the sectarian murder of Robert Hamill in Portadown.
Again, this stance is highly commendable, but, regretfully, it should be stated that Mr. Bruton wrote the
following brief, and rather blunt, letter to a member
of the Ludlow family on 2 September 1998:
you for your recent letter which I have read
view of your statement that the Garda
investigation into this case is still continuing,
I do not believe it would be appropriate for me
to comment on this matter."
The leader of
Fine Gael sent no expression of regret to the Ludlow
family regarding their sad loss, nor did he
acknowledge that the innocent victim of British Army and Loyalist
gunmen was a dedicated
member of his own Fine Gael party in County Louth.
today leads the political party which led the
coalition government that was in power in 1976. Fine
Gael held power on occasions since then, throughout
the period of the Garda cover-up, as also has Fianna
Fail, the present party in government.
Bruton has added very little to that brief
statement of 2 September 1998. Thus the present day
leader of Seamus Ludlow's own party appears to have nothing at all to
say about this appalling murder in his own jurisdiction.
The Ludlow family has yet to
hear his call for a public inquiry into the murder of
his own fellow Fine Gael member. Indeed, on 20 June, in reply to Jim
J. Kane, of Irish Organizations United, Scranton, Pennsylvania,
USA, Mr. Bruton makes his stand in favour of an "independent
private investigation into the Seamus Ludlow case as recommended by
Mr. John Wilson to the Government."
May 2000 - In an interesting letter to Jimmy Sharkey, a member of
the Ludlow family, Mr. Seamus Kirk, TD, Louth, reported:
to ongoing contact regarding the Seamus Ludlow enquiry I have been
in contact with the Office of the minister for Justice, Equality
& law Reform, about the matter. They expect a date for
Kirk was apparently hearing things that the Department of Justice,
Equality & Law Reform was not yet prepared to share with the
Ludlow family or its solicitor, who wrote to the Minister.
May 2000 - In a letter to Mr. John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for
Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dublin, James MacGuill, the Ludlow family's
solicitor referred to previous correspondence from the solicitor of
11th April, 7th March, 25th February, 3rd February, and 1st
February, "none of which have received a substantive
reply." The solicitor continued:
clients were surprised to learn through a letter from Seamus Kirk
TD, their constituency representative, that in the view of the
Department the commencement date for an Inquiry into the Seamus
Ludlow case is imminent. We were not aware of any such development
and would be obliged if you would indicate the nature of the Inquiry
that is to be announced. You will recall that it was suggested in
your letter of the 31st January that this Inquiry might be suitable
for the form of private Inquiry presently being conducted by the
former Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Liam Hamilton. Our clients do not
share that view but were prepared to reconsider the position in the
light of a disclosure of the relevant Garda investigation file in
the matter. That has not been disclosed and our clients position
remains that a full public Inquiry is required in this case. You
might note accordingly that our clients will not be participating in
a private Inquiry as same is clearly inappropriate and that the one
obstacle to a public Inquiry identified in the Victims Commissioner
Report no longer applies.
would be grateful if you would let us have a reply to this letter,
in comprehensive terms, as soon as possible."
May 2000 - The following parliamentary question was asked
about Seamus Ludlow by Mr. Quinn TD in Leinster House, Dublin. It is
followed by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's reply:
. . . I understand representations have been made to the
Government to have the terms of reference of Mr. Justice
Hamilton's inquiry altered to include the killing of Mr. Seamus
Ludlow. Is the Government giving consideration to that request?
Will the matter be included in the terms of reference?
Mr. Justice Hamilton is putting in enormous work and time on the
inquiry. My view is that the strategy jointly adopted on this
matter will prove to be extremely useful, although it may not
met the relatives of Mr. Seamus Ludlow some time ago. Deputies
will be aware I previously stated that the Government had accepted
the Victims Commission's recommendation in the Seamus Ludlow case,
but that consultations were to take place. The relatives have
strong views and they are not yet satisfied that this is the best
way to proceed. However, I remain strongly of the view that an
examination of the case by the former Chief Justice is the best
way forward and I continue to try to urge them in that regard.
Deputy Quinn is aware, there are difficulties in the Seamus Ludlow
case, including cross-jurisdictional issues. An added complication
is that identifiable individuals were accused publicly in the case
and the DPP in Northern Ireland, having considered evidence
available there, decided not to prefer charges. This will make a
public examination of the case difficult here. However, my view
remains that an examination by the Chief Justice is the best way
this answer Mr. Ahern once again states that he has met the Ludlow
family - when in fact no meeting has ever been granted with the
ominously, Mr. Ahern appears to be setting the scene for some future
disappointment for the Ludlow family. He seems quite unable to
present a hopeful opinion about the outcome of any inquiry into
Seamus Ludlow's murder. Instead, he appears to present several
possible arguments for no further progress. Further information
about the Dundalk families' campaign can be accessed from the Ludlow
family's Links page.
2000 - The local Dundalk Democrat newspaper reported that the victims of
the 19 December 1975 bombing at Kay's Tavern public house, in Dundalk, have adopted a
"wait and see" approach to the private Hamilton Inquiry. James McGuill,
the solicitor for Maura McKeever and the Watters family, who both lost their
fathers in that no-warning Loyalist bomb attack, spoke to the Democrat's
Anne Campbell about the current enquiry:
the minute we have adopted a wait and see approach to the enquiry which was
announced by the department of Justice at the end of last year", said Mr.
McGuill. "We would like to see a full, open, public enquiry into the
murder of these two men", stated Maura.
present there is a private enquiry into the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings, but it
is not clear how deep the report, which is due for publication around November
of this year, will go into the facts and the responsibility for the bombing.
are definitely not ruling out going into this enquiry, but would like to see
what happens with this one first", said Mr. McGuill.
McKeever is determined as ever to bring the perpetrators of her father's
murder to justice. "We have waited a very long time just to get this
far", she said. "It's not over yet. We just keep going until there
McGuill, Maura McKeever and the Watters family are not sitting back and
waiting for things to happen. They are pushing the progress themselves. At
present, they are speaking to people who were at the scene and near the town
when the bomb went off on 19 December. They want to speak to anyone who was
injured in the explosion, or saw anything, no matter how small, in the days
and hours running up to the bombing. . .
family wishes Maura McKeever and the Watters family full success in their search
for truth and justice for the murder of their loved ones just six months before
the murder of Seamus Ludlow. Both cases point to serious questions arising from
the ease at which the Loyalist murder gangs could move freely through Dundalk at
a time of intense Loyalist violence in the North and equally intense Gardai
activity along the southern side of border.
The inability, or unwillingness, of
the Gardai to apprehend any of these Loyalist/British Army murderers, either at
that time or during the quarter century that has now passed since then, must be
examined at any public inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the Dundalk
bombing just six months before.
Rooney and Watters family's campaign for justice is now the subject of a
new website at http://www.adon89.care4free.net/dundalk_bombing/index.htm.
2000 - Reported by the Belfast Irish News was a statement released the
previous day by Justice for the Forgotten, the group representing most of
the relatives of victims, deceased and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan
bombings of 1974. The statement, backed by the Ludlow family's Jimmy Sharkey and
Kevin Ludlow, and representatives of other families affected by the murderous
bombing of Dundalk in 1975, was in response to recent statements from Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern in which he supported pleas for public inquiries in the North,
while he remained set against equally deserving demands in his own jurisdiction.
The Irish News quoted the following from the statement:
victims of unsolved murders in this state related to the Northern Ireland
conflict, we welcomed the taoiseach's recent call for an independent inquiry
into the murder of Portadown man, Robert Hamill.
also welcome his support for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and his call for
inquiries into the murders of human rights lawyers, Pat Finucane and Rosemary
Nelson," the statement read.
their calls for public inquiries into atrocities committed outside this
jurisdiction ring rather hollow when compared with their continued reluctance
to hold public inquiries in this jurisdiction into the murder of our loved
ones who died in equally tragic and controversial circumstances."
further information on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, please go to
the Ludlow family's Links page.
See also links to information on the Dundalk
bombing of 1975.)
14 June 2000 - Publication of the
widely respected human rights organisation Amnesty
International's (AI) Annual Report 2000. The full report
can be accessed online.
This very detailed AI Report of
global human rights issues refers briefly to Irish and UK issues
including several cases of collusion between the British authorities
and Loyalist murder gangs. The Ludlow family is delighted to see
that Amnesty International has kept a close watch on developments in
the Seamus Ludlow case and that AI's representatives have expressed
strong support for the family's demands for a public inquiry.
Many issues were discussed at a
meeting in June between the Irish Minister for Justice, Mr.
John O'Donoghue, TD, and Amnesty International (AI) representatives.
According to AI's Annual Report 2000, the issues raised at this
legislation; emergency legislation; procedures to examine complaints
against the police; inquests; and inquiries into the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings and the case of Seamus Ludlow. . .
The Amnesty International Annual Report 2000
The government appointed the retiring Chief
Justice, Liam Hamilton, to carry out a private, but independent,
judicial inquiry into the bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974,
which killed 33 people and injured hundreds. Members of the Northern
Ireland security forces' intelligence units allegedly colluded with
the Ulster Volunteer Force, a Loyalist armed group, in the bombings.
The inquiry would also examine the police investigation of the
bombings, and the bombing of a pub in Dundalk in 1975. By the end of
1999, it was still not decided whether the inquiry would also
examine the killing of Seamus Ludlow in 1976, and the alleged
subsequent cover-up by both British and Irish authorities. Seamus
Ludlow was killed in Ireland, reportedly by a Northern Irish
Loyalist group, which included two soldiers.
The government stated that the inquiry's results
would be published, and that a subsequent public inquiry remained
possible. AI had called for public inquiries into these incidents.
International also highlighted the murders of human rights lawyers
Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson.
20 June 2000
- Mr. John Bruton TD, Leader of Fine Gael, replied to an e-mail
message sent to him by Jim J. Kane, of Irish
Organizations United, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding the Seamus Ludlow case -
you will note from the Oireachtas website (www.irlgov.ie/oireachtas/frame.htm)
that I have had exchanges with the Taoiseach regarding this
case on 8th December 1999 and on 29th September 1999.
Fine Gael supports independent private investigation into the Seamus
Ludlow case as recommended by Mr. John Wilson to the Government.
John Bruton T.D.,
Leader of Fine Gael.
Nothing here is encouraging to the
Ludlow family. Mr. Bruton fails once again to support the Ludlow
family's call for a public inquiry. To make such a call would at
least be consistent with his recent demand for
a public inquiry north of the border in the Robert Hamill case.
Back to Top.
I Previous I I Next
SEAMUS LUDLOW APPEAL FUND
I Home I I Previous
Top I I First
Ludlow Site I I Domain
Name site I I Questions I I Chronology I I
Review I I Profile I I BIRW Report I I Photographs I I Ludlow
family's Letter to the RUC Chief Constable I I Hamilton
Inquiry I I Contributors I I Linda
Porra's Editorial I I
Jim J. Kane's Letter to the Northern Ireland Human Rights
Commission I I Jim J. Kane's Letter
to the RUC I I Latest Reports I
I Press Release I I 25th
Anniversary I I Links I I
Book I I E-Mail
Form I I Mailing List I
I Tell a Friend I
Chronology: 1 2
3 4 5
was last updated: 12/07/05
2005 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 12, 2005 .