The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?
Introduction to the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the official cover-up.
The recent Campaign for Truth and Justice.
Other Ludlow Family Sites.
The Dundalk Democrat, 5 September 1998:
Family Receive Further Information on Ludlow Murder
The family of Dundalk man Seamus Ludlow, murdered in 1976 have received further information which leads them to believe that members of the Gardai were aware of the killers' identities and recorded the information as far back as the late '70s, writes Anne-Marie Eaton.
As was reported in the National Press and also in the "Dundalk Democrat" a number of months ago, four men were detained in Castlereagh, Belfast in relation to the murder. One of the men had been taken from his England home. All were later released without charge.
Evidence that indicated members of the Gardai may have been involved in a cover up came to light earlier this year, once again in the National media, when Paul Hosking, an eye witness to the murder of Seamus Ludlow down a lane near his Mountpleasant home in May 1976, detailed that those involved in the killing were UDR members with links also to the loyalist paramilitary group, the Red Hand Commandos.
Hosking told of how the men had driven across the border and passed through checkpoints with a UDR pass. It has been believed for many years that Seamus was murdered in a case of mistaken identity, with the intended target an IRA man who bore a striking resemblance to him.
From the family's own investigations, it has now come to their attention that files on the men under suspicion were prepared almost twenty years ago. A spokesperson for the family, speaking to the "Democrat" said that this information was received from a member of the Gardai.
Over the years, the family of Seamus Ludlow were told by Gardai that the IRA had been responsible for the murder of Seamus, who it was alleged had been an IRA informer. Also, since the time of the murder many books written have detailed Seamus as an IRA informer, which gives the family more reason to find the truth and clear Seamus Ludlows' name.
The family have also approached the RUC in efforts to find out why no action on the men thought to be involved in the killing was not carried out earlier. They were told that because the murder was carried out in the South, the RUC were powerless to arrest anyone living in the North unless they were requested to do so by the Gardai, which they were not.
The murder of Seamus Ludlow has been brought to the attention of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, John O'Donoghue by various Dail members on two occasions. In a written answer to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Seamus Kirk, TD, in March last stated that a report into the circumstances had been requested from the Garda Commissioner.
Following another Parliamentary Question into the matter calling for a statement, an oral answer by the Minister on the 14th May stated that a report had been received from the Garda Commissioner outlining "actions taken by the Gardai since dissatisfaction about aspects of the case was first expressed by the deceased's family during the course of 1996".
The Minister went on to say that no further action in the case could be taken until the outcome of certain matters referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland were known.
Despite the hardships suffered by the family of Seamus Ludlow in relation to his murder, the family remain united in trying to find out the truth about the murder, and finally clearing his name.
Members of the family are increasingly aggrieved by the manner in which they have been treated by the Gardai. It may seem like a story from the "X Files" but for the Ludlow family " The Truth Is Out There".
Seamus' brother, Kevin Ludlow, speaking to "Democrat" reporter Anne-Marie Eaton, is particularly distressed that the names of those believed to have carried out the murder have been in a Garda file since 1979 with no action taken. Kevin went on to speak of the manner in which they were treated by a member of the original investigation team who is now retired.
Along with his nephew, Kevin had gone to see the man concerned to find out some further details on the investigation and while Kevin's nephew, who does not have the surname Ludlow, produced identification and was received accordingly, upon seeing Kevin Ludlow's identification reacted with a hostile manner and walked away from them abruptly, threatening them with the Gardai.
Difficulties between the Gardai and the family have been ongoing since the time of Seamus' death. Indeed, Kevin goes on to say, although he himself had identified Seamus' body, he was not informed of the inquest until it was too late for him to attend.
Kevin and the rest of the Ludlow family now feel that the best way to find out the truth as to who killed Seamus "should be done via a Public enquiry".
The family feel that enquiries in relation to other matters are frequently held so why not an enquiry in Seamus' murder.
Civil Rights Involvement
A number of Civil Rights Groups have become very interested in the murder of Seamus Ludlow and are making efforts to ask those involved in the investigation to bring those responsible to justice.
Letters have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland; Gardai leading the investigations; and also the Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam's office. Family members have also been in communication with the Office of the Taoiseach and have also received communication from Tony Benn, MP, in the House of Commons.
RUC Investigation Ongoing
Following the release of the four men in February without charge it was reported that a file was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland.
The RUC Press Office stated this week that investigations into the murder of Seamus Ludlow were "ongoing" and the case remained open and active.
Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy, Drug Squad, Dublin Castle, is currently leading the investigation for the Gardai. he confirmed that the Gardai were aware of the detention of four men in Castlereagh last February.
Concerning recent media reports on Garda Files, Chief Superintendent Murphy would not comment. He added that gardai involved in the case in 1976 had since retired, indeed, he said some members of the original investigation team had died.