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




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Daily Ireland, 4 November 2005:

Ludlow relatives accuse authorities of not pursuing killers because of fear of upsetting British

Family lashes government

By Ciaran Barnes

The nephew of a Dundalk man murdered by loyalists has accused the Irish government of not pursuing his killers out of fear of upsetting the British government.

Jimmy Sharkey's damnng assessment of Irish government policy during the Troubles came just minutes after the Barron report into the murder of his uncle, Seamus Ludlow, was published.

The 47-year-old was murdered by a loyalist gang, two of whom were members of the Ulster Defence Regiment, in Dundalk in May 1976. Nobody has been prosecuted in connection with his death.

For two decades the gardaí accused the IRA of carrying out the killing, despite being told by RUC Special Branch detectives that the murder was the work of Co Down loyalists.

In 1996 the Ludlow family said they believed loyalists were responsible.

This forced the Irish government to commission judge Henry Barron’s report into the murder.
The 105-page investigation, published yesterday, found that the gardaí failed to pursue those responsible for fear that the IRA might attack police in the Republic for co-operating with the RUC in the North.

Barron stated that any such co-operation with the RUC might be perceived as acceding sovereignty to the British government. However, the findings failed to impress Mr Ludlow’s relatives.
Family spokesman Jimmy Sharkey accused the Irish government of not wanting to unearth the truth about his uncle’s killing for fear of upsetting the British.

He said: “This was an official policy which also affected those that died in the loyalist Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974, and the Dundalk bombing the following year.

“As far as the Irish and British governments were concerned the IRA was public enemy number one, they were happy to see every atrocity in the south blamed on them. The gardai had no intention of catching my uncle’s killers. It was all too easy for them to blame his death on the IRA.”

Sinn Féin Dáil leader, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin, called on the Irish government to demand full co-operation from the British government on the Ludlow murder.

He said: “As in the case of his Dublin and Monaghan bombings investigation, the work of Judge Barron has been hampered by a lack of co-operation from the British authorities.

“He has concluded that he finds it hard to accept that documents he requested do not exist.

“At his next meeting with Tony Blair, the Taoiseach must insist on full co-operation from the British authorities with the forthcoming hearings on this latest Barron Report.

“This must include making available witnesses and documentation.”




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