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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  Chronology - Part 5. 

 

23 April 2001 - 29 April 2001

23 April 2001 - Ludlow family supporter Jim J. Kane, of Irish Organizations United (IOU),  issued this letter to the press in Ireland and the United States to promote the Ludlow family's upcoming 25th. anniversary commemoration. The letter also appears on IOU's website at http://celticj1.tripod.com/IOU/ludlow//ludlow1.html  The Ludlow family appreciates the tremendous help that Jim, Jeannie and IOU have given them by promoting this commemoration.

SEAMUS LUDLOW
25TH COMMEMORATION - APRIL 29, 2001
REMEMBERING SEAMUS LUDLOW -
REMEMBERING TO FIND JUSTICE

Seamus Ludlow was a 47-year-old Catholic bachelor who lived at  Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Seamus was murdered on the 2nd of May 1976. He was killed for resembling another person, as local people say that the sleeves of the murdered man's coat were ripped out by those looking for a tattoo on both arms to verify that they had "gotten" the correct person, but to their dismay they indeed murdered an innocent man.
 
THE COMMEMORATION:
On the 25th Aniversary of the murder of Seamus Ludlow, his family, individual and group supporters are involved in a commemoration ceremony for the slain County Louth man. On April 29, 2001, the commemoration will begin at 4.00pm at the memorial at the place where the body was found, in a lane off the Bog Road, near his Thistlecross home, just north of Dundalk, and in the vicinity of the Ballymascanlan Hotel. The opening speeches will be by Ed Moloney, Kevin Ludlow, Michael Donegan and Jimmy Sharkey.  Wreaths will be laid by relatives of Dublin and Monaghan bombing, Castleblaney Bombing, Dundalk Bombing and by relatives of Seamus Ludlow. Prayers will be read by, Monsignor Raymond Murray and Fr. McCreesh.

It is expected that members of other families demanding justice for the victims of the Dublin, Monaghan, and Dundalk bombings and other loyalist  murders south of the border will attend.

There will be a special anniversary Mass at the nearby Ravensdale Church at 7.00pm the next Wednesday, on the 25th anniversary precisely. Seamus is interred in the nearby Ravensdale Calvary cemetery.


REMEMBERING SEAMUS:

Seamus lived at his life-long home with his elderly mother and his married sister and her family. Seamus worked with his brother-in-law Tommy Fox (now deceased) as a forestry worker in the vicinity of his home.  Every week when he got his wages, he dutifully handed them to his mother and she gave him back an "allowance". He was educated at the nearby old Faughart National School.

Seamus, who was ordinarily a quiet man, had a great love for children in his large family circle. Seamus Ludlow was a man with no enemies, who worked tirelessly on behalf of charitable organisations and was a friend to anybody who needed his help.

He was the man who for many years acted as Father Christmas to hundreds of young children.  He used to go from door to door in the big Marian Park estate for a number of years distributing presents on behalf of the local tenants' associates. He was always playing jokes on the children, who adored him.

Who killed Seamus and why?

Recent revelations of an RUC and Gardai cover-up dating from the 1970's show how in fact it was known all along that Seamus Ludlow was the victim of a Loyalist/British Army  murder gang. It is now known that the RUC in Belfast handed a file on the killing to the Gardai in 1979. This file contained the names of at least three of the suspects who were arrested by the RUC nearly 20 years later, in February 1998.  It has also emerged, from statements made by one of the suspects, Paul Hosking, than a 19-year-old member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), that he was questioned about the murder by the RUC Special Branch , some eleven years later in 1987.

In a report given by a Mr. Paul Hosking, the fourth man in the car that tragic day, Mr. Hosking gives his report to the RUC Special Branch a full account of the murder, including the name of the person who he said did the actual shooting, and yet it was not until 1998, a year after the case was reopened that the four were arrested for this murder. Mr. Hosking stated the murder was carried out by three (3) UDR soldiers who were also members of the Loyalist Red Hand Commandos, and he also stated in the National Press that the Garda were aware of their identities in 1979. The  decision by the Northern Director of Public Prosecutions not to press charges over the murder brings a very strong belief by many that there has been a cover up by both the Garda and the RUC for over two decades.


What we must ask is:
 

Will the British and Irish authorities ever accede to the Ludlow family's demands for a full and public inquiry, where the family and its legal representatives will have the right to view files and papers, and to subpoena and question witnesses regarding the murder of Seamus and what seems to be a cover-up on both sides of the border?


REMEMBERING TO FIND JUSTICE - HOW YOU CAN HELP:
 
We, the supporters of the family of Seamus Ludlow and the Seamus Ludlow Campaign, believe a full inquiry can be achieved.  Your assistance is needed in writing to and asking the public officials who have the power to institute such an inquiry, to begin such a proceeding immediately.  Seamus deserves to be remembered for the kind of person he truly was - a man with a family, home, community ties and love for his land. Justice for Seamus can be realized with your help.

For more information on the Seamus Ludlow Campaign, please click on the link below:
http://www.seamusludlow.com/index.html
 

SUPPORT THE SEAMUS LUDLOW APPEAL FUND

Bank of Ireland
78 Clanbrassil Street
Dundalk
County Louth
Ireland
Account No. 70037984

Thank You.
 
Jim J. Kane
Irish Organizations United
1420 N. Lincoln Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania
18508

 

Here is the list of newspapers and other media groups that Jim
sent the letter to.  His IOU colleague Jeannie's list follows his:

Irish Times
Irish News
Newsnow Ire
Irish Echo
Irish Post
Belfast Telegraph.
An Phoblact
Newshound
BBC Online
Guardian
Nat. on live Ire.
World News Ire.
Cincanati Post
Andersontown News
Dundalk Argus
Donegal News
Irish Examiner
Scranton Times, Pa
Sunday Business Post
Irish People
Irish Emigrant
Citizens Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa
Philadelphia Weekly, Phila, Pa
Philadelphia City Paper, Phila. Pa
Allentown Morning call, Allentown, Pa
Capitol Wire, Harrisburg, Pa
Pittsburg Posat Gazete, Pittsburg, Pa
Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pa
NORAID E-Group
Voyer E-Group
Irish Heritage RBB


Jeannie sent the IOU letter to:

Irish-Afterdark LIst
Irishdiscussion List
Irish-American List
Washington Post
IAIS
AIPEC
LAJI
Amnesty International
Irish People
Irish Voice
Irish Abroad
The Oregonian
USA Today
Tampa Tribune
Washington Times
The Gazette, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Seattle Times
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Chronicle
San Antonio Express News
Orlando Sentinel
New Jersey Online
New York Times
Miami Herald
ABC News
Atlanta Journal
CNN
Boston Globe
Houston Chronicle
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Denver Post
IAUC

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26 April 2001 - The following press release was issued by the Ludlow family:

Seamus Ludlow Commemoration.
 
The Ludlow family will be holding a commemoration for the 25th anniversary of innocent murder victim Seamus Ludlow in County Louth on Sunday 29th. April, 2001, at 4.00pm. 
 
Seamus Ludlow (47), a Catholic bachelor, was abducted by Loyalist killers after leaving a Dundalk bar around midnight on 1st May 1976. He was taken to a lane less than a mile from his Thistlecross, Mountpleasant home, shot three times while still sitting in the back of a car, and his body was thrown like a dog upon a grassy bank.
 
For 25 years the Ludlow family has been searching for the truth, amid false claims that the victim was shot by the IRA because he was an informer and that members of his family were involved. These lies, spread by elements within the gardai and the British Army, were finally laid to rest in February 1998 when the RUC arrested four Loyalists from the Comber/Newtownards area of County Down. The suspects included three former members of the Red Hand Commando murder gang, of whom two were also members of the UDR at the time of the killing of Seamus Ludlow. One of the suspects was actually a Captain in that regiment.
 
A fourth man, known to have been a 19 year old member of the UDA at the time of Seamus Ludlow's murder, admits to have been a witness rather than a participant in the crime. He claims that he was first questioned about this matter as far back as 1987, when an RUC Special Branch detective instructed him to say no more about the case, because it was political. The man has claimed that the RUC seemed to have known the whole story all along.
 
It has now emerged that the RUC passed a file on at least three of the prime suspects in this crime, to detectives of the garda murder squad from Dublin, in 1979. Neither the RUC nor the garda acted upon this file, nor were any of the suspects arrested until 1998. Files gathered dust in Belfast and in Dublin, while Seamus Ludlow's killers were free to kill again and again.
 
The Ludlow family is appalled that the RUC and the garda should have covered up vital information which protected the loyalist killers from justice. This cover-up continued alongside a smear campaign against the innocent victim and his family for some 23 years. The Ludlow family has thus demanded public inquiries into the garda and RUC's role in this cover-up and smear campaign and the protection of Loyalist killers.
 
The Ludlow family's commemoration will take place at the memorial in the lane, off the Bog Road, in the vicinity of Ballymascanlan Hotel, north of Dundalk, where this sectarian murder was committed on the night of 1st/2nd May 1976. Speakers will include journalist Ed Moloney, Kevin Ludlow, the only living brother of the victim, and other members of the Ludlow family. Prayers will be led by Monsignor Raymond Murray and Father Brian McCreesh.
 
Wreaths will be laid by the Ludlow family, as well as families of victims from the Dublin, Monaghan, Dundalk and Castleblaney bombing atrocities.
 
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27 April 2001 - The Irish independent TV3 news featured a report on the Seamus Ludlow case and the weekend's 25th anniversary commemoration. Ludlow family members Kevin Ludlow and Jimmy Sharkey and Ludlow family solicitor James MacGuill, Dundalk, were interviewed. Kevin and Jimmy renewed the call for a public inquiry and the need to bring closure to this 25 years long injustice.

The Irish government's case was put by Minister Dermot Ahern, TD, himself from Dundalk, who stated that "in this age of transparency" the Irish government had nothing to hide.

The Ludlow family would of course argue that there is nothing transparent in the Dublin government's long delayed decision on a public inquiry or about the Taoiseach's failure to meet with the Ludlow family, or even to acknowledge several written requests for such a meeting.

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29 April 2001 - The Ludlow family's commemoration marking the late Seamus Ludlow's 25th anniversary, at the place of his murder, was a major success. 

Two of Seamus Ludlow's sisters and a brother lay a wreath at the memorial.A gathering numbering 200 to 300 people helped the Ludlow family honour the memory of the innocent man who was murdered there in 1976. People came from far and wide: Dundalk, Dublin, Belfast Derry, Cavan, Monaghan, and the local south Armagh and north Louth district to witness the laying of wreaths at the memorial and to hear addresses by members of the Ludlow family and special guest speakers.

The attendance included members of Justice for the Forgotten, representing the families of victims and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, as well as the Watters and Rooney families, relatives of the victims of the Dundalk bombing of 19 December 1975.

Also present were relatives of the late Patrick Mohan, a victim of the Castleblaney bombing of March 1976. The Ludlow family was also pleased to be joined by members of the McAnespie family from Aughnacloy and the Drumm family from Belfast who also lost loved ones at the hands of British state forces or loyalist murder gangs.

Guest speakers included journalist Ed Moloney and Monsignor Raymond Murray. Prayers were led by Father Brian McCreesh. Also present was Mr. Paul O'Connor, Pat Finucane Centre, Derry, and Mr. Seamus Kirk, TD County Louth, who are both valued supporters of the Ludlow family in their demand for a public inquiry.

Ed Moloney's address

I WANT FIRST OF ALL TO THANK JIMMY, KEVIN AND MICHAEL FOR INVITING ME TO SPEAK HERE TO MARK THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SEAMUS LUDLOW'S DEATH.

I DON'T NORMALLY MAKE PUBLIC SPEECHES ABOUT ARTICLES I AND OTHER JOURNALISTS HAVE WRITTEN BUT AFTER CAREFUL THOUGHT I CONCLUDED THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO BREAK THAT RULE IN THE CASE OF SEAMUS LUDLOW.

AS WE ALL KNOW TWENTY-FIVE LONG YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THAT DREADFUL NIGHT WHEN HE WAS SHOT AND DUMPED IN THIS SMALL LANEWAY BUT SEAMUS LUDLOW'S FAMILY ARE NO NEARER GETTING THE TRUTH AND JUSTICE THEY DESERVE THAN THEY WERE THEN.

WE DO HOWEVER KNOW A GREAT DEAL MORE ABOUT THE EVENTS OF THAT NIGHT NOW THAN EVER BEFORE.


WE KNOW THE NAME OF THE LOYALIST KILLER WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER;

WE KNOW WHY HE WAS IN CO LOUTH THAT NIGHT AND WHO WAS WITH HIM;

WE KNOW THAT THE GARDAI KNEW ALL THIS NOT LONG AFTER SEAMUS LUDLOW WAS KILLED;

WE KNOW THAT THE RUC SPECIAL BRANCH HAD THIS INFORMATION AS WELL; AND WE KNOW THAT THE AUTHORITIES IN THIS STATE BEHAVED DISGRACEFULLY TO THE LUDLOW FAMILY.

WE KNOW THAT THEY LIED TO AND MISLED THE FAMILY ABOUT WHO KILLED THEIR BROTHER AND UNCLE.

WE KNOW THAT THEY CRUELLY, DELIBERATELY DIVIDED THE LUDLOW'S, PITCHING SIBLING AGAINST SIBLING, COUSIN AGAINST COUSIN FOR THE BEST PART OF TWO DECADES, YEARS THAT CAN NEVER BE RECOVERED.

WE KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF SEAMUS LUDLOW'S DEATH TO SUSPECT THAT ALL THIS WAS DONE, ALL THESE LIES AND DECEPTIONS PERPETRATED IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE GUNMAN WHO KILLED SEAMUS LUDLOW AND TO COVER UP THE COVER UP BOTH IN THE NORTH AND IN THIS JURISDICTION.

WHAT MADE THIS MAN SO SPECIAL THAT FOR YEARS NO ACTION WAS TAKEN AGAINST HIM AND SO MANY LIES TOLD TO PROTECT HIM?

WE KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT TO ASK THAT THE STATE SHOULD FORMALLY AND PUBLICLY THROW OPEN ITS SECRET FILES SO THAT AT LAST THE LUDLOW FAMILY CAN HAVE PEACE OF MIND.

EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK THESE DAYS THERE ARE PUBLIC TRIBUNALS AND JUDICIAL INQUIRIES MANY OF THEM DESIGNED TO LAY TO REST GHOSTS OF THE NORTHERN CONFLICT.

THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS JURISDICTION HAS BEEN TO THE FORE IN PRESSING THE BRITISH TO SWEEP THE SKELETONS OUT OF THEIR CUPBOARDS BUT WHAT ABOUT THEIR SKELETONS?

WHAT HAS THE LUDLOW FAMILY BEEN OFFERED?

A SECRET, PRIVATE INVESTIGATION WHOSE DELIBERATIONS, UNLIKE THOSE IN THE GUILDHALL OR IN DUBLIN CASTLE WILL BE KEPT FROM PUBLIC VIEW AND SCRUTINY AND WHOSE OUTCOME MAY OR MAY NOT BE FOLLOWED UP. AN INQUIRY INTO WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE AN INQUIRY IN OTHER WORDS.

HOW CAN IT BE RIGHT TO DEMAND FROM THE BRITISH THAT THEY COME CLEAN ABOUT THEIR MISDEEDS TOWARDS CITIZENS IN THE NORTH YET DENY THE SAME RIGHTS TO THEIR OWN CITIZENS?

WHY ARE THEY SO FRIGHTENED OF THE SECRET, HIDDEN STORY OF SEAMUS LUDLOW'S DEATH? IF, TRULY, THERE IS NOTHING TO HIDE, NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, THEN COME OUT IN THE OPEN AND SHOW EVERYONE. ONLY THE GUILTY SKULK IN DARK CORNERS. THE INNOCENT CRY OUT FOR THE LIGHT.

ITS TIME WE WERE TOLD THE TRUTH.

The Ludlow family extends its sincerest thank to all who attended this commemoration, those who travelled long distances to be here: particularly Ed Moloney, Monsignor Raymond Murray, Father Brian McCreesh, and all who helped in any way to make this day a great success. 

For further information go to our 25th Anniversary page.

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SUPPORT THE SEAMUS LUDLOW APPEAL FUND    

Bank of Ireland
78 Clanbrassil Street
Dundalk
County Louth
Ireland

Account No. 70037984 

   Thank You. 

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  This page was last updated: 12/07/05

 

Copyright 2005 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 12, 2005 .