The Ludlow family was honoured to have in their company at
the Commemoration two highly respected priests who have long supported them in
their search for justice.
Originally from nearby Camlough, south Armagh, Father Brian
McCreesh (pictured left, above), is a brother of the late Raymond McCreesh who
died in the hunger strike of 1981. The McCreesh family also has
much to remember in 2001, twenty years after Raymond's tragic death.
A young Father Brian McCreesh, now at Kilkerley,
County Louth, was
assigned to Lordship Parish at the time of Seamus Ludlow's murder in May 1976
and he was called upon when the body was discovered.
Monsignor Raymond Murray (pictured right, above), Parish Priest of
Cookstown, and a leading figure in the Belfast-based Relatives for Justice,
has also had long associations with the Ludlow family. Many years ago he
published his book The SAS in Ireland, in which he mentioned briefly
the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
He published an account of the late Kevin Donegan's ordeal
at the hands of the British Army soon after his brother-in-law Seamus Ludlow
was buried. The Donegan family has no idea about how the then Father Murray
heard of this incident, because he did not hear of it from them.
Kevin Donegan was airlifted by British military helicopter
from Forkhill to Bessbrook for interrogation about the murder and the gardai's
line of inquiry. The British Army had earlier called to the Donegan home at
Dromintee and attempted to question his wife Kathleen, a sister of Seamus,
about her brother's murder.
The murder of an Irishman in the southern jurisdiction
should have been no business of the British Army - unless, of course, it was
their business. As for the gardai's line of inquiry, the British Army need not
have worried, because the gardai abandoned their murder investigation after
only three weeks without ever informing the Ludlow family.
Monsignor Murray has been a valuable supporter of the Ludlow
family's campaign since 1998. He kindly supplied a copy of a pathologist's
report which they had never seen before. Monsignor Murray also chaired the
Ludlow family's public meeting at Dundalk Town Hall in 1999.
The Ludlow family appreciates the great kindness that
Father McCreesh and Monsignor Murray have done by joining them for this
occasion to help them remember and commemorate the late Seamus Ludlow.
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