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, 6 November 1999:
TD's questions about Ludlow case
The Irish Government is to reassess its approach to the case of murdered Mountpleasant man, Seamus Ludlow, in the light of the failure of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute four men arrested in connection with the killing last year.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern signalled the review of his Government's approach when he answered a question from Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain in the Dail on Tuesday.
Seamus Ludlow was abducted and murdered by a group of Loyalists, including two serving members of the British Army's Ulster Defence regiment in May 1976. The killing took place outside Dundalk. Up to last year no-one was ever arrested in the case even though an eyewitness had made a detailed statement to the RUC and the media. Four men were detained in 1998 but it was announced last month that there would be no prosecutions.
Kept in dark
The family of Seamus Ludlow maintain that they were kept in the dark for over twenty years by the RUC and Gardai, and that Gardai told them repeatedly that the assassins were the IRA, a claim they knew to be untrue.
In the Report of the Victims' Commission established under the Good Friday Agreement it was recommended that the Irish Government establish a private inquiry into the Ludlow case with no published report "to avoid compromising any criminal prosecutions".
In the Dail on Tuesday Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghin O Caolain urged An Taoiseach to establish a Public Inquiry. He called upon An Taoiseach to raise with the British Prime Minister and Mr Mandelson what he called the disgraceful decision not to prosecute in the case of the four men implicated in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
Cllr. O Caolain also requested An Taoiseach to revisit the decision to hold a Private Inquiry into the Ludlow case in light of the failure to prosecute. He also called up An Taoiseach to acknowledge that the report of such an inquiry must be published in the absence of prosecutions in line with the recommendations of the former Tanaiste, Mr Wilson. The argument for a public inquiry is now greatly strengthened, he said, due to the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Replying to Deputy O Caolain, Mr Ahern said: "That when the former Tanaiste, as Commissioner, issued his report he believed that the review should be in private at that stage.
"It is probably a fair assessment", stated Mr Ahern, "that he believed the Director of Public Prosecutions was proceeding with the case. I am not certain of that but that is how I would have interpreted his remarks at the time. I have seen the statement by the Director of Public Prosecutions and we are examining the matter."
Mr Ahern stated that he will raise the matter with the British Government again and pointed out that he has met with the family and the people who have campaigned about this case over the past twenty years. "We will assess what to do next", stated Mr Ahern.
Deputy Kirk's question
In a question put to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, John O'Donoghue, by Seamus Kirk TD, a statement was requested as to when the inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow would be completed, and would it be made public.
The answer was as follows:
"I take it from the Deputy's question that he is referring to the inquiry recommended by the Victims' Commission in its Report - "A Place and a Name" - into the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
"As the Deputy is aware the Government decided that an eminent legal person should be appointed to look into the case of Mr Ludlow along the lines contained in the Victims' Commission Report.
"As the eminent legal person had yet to be appointed it would be premature to suggest when his or her inquiry might be completed. Insofar as the publication of the inquiry report is concerned, I would refer the Deputy to recommendation 4.5.3 of the Report of the Victims' Commission.
"I should add that I intend to meet with relatives of Mr Ludlow in the near future to discuss these maters".
Family to continue search for truth
Speaking to the "Democrat" reporter Anne-Marie Eaton this week, Jimmy Sharkey, a nephew of Seamus Ludlow commented on the family's decision to continue to find out the truth about Seamus' murder and to get justice for their uncle.
Following the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecution's decision not to prosecute those questioned last year about the Mountpleasant man's murder, a meeting was held amongst the family, at which twenty-seven members attended, to ascertain should they carry on with their efforts. It was unanimously decided to do so.
Another topic which was brought up at the meeting for the family, was that friends etc were coming up to them and giving money to support the family's financial needs for their campaign.
Because of this it has been decided to open a special bank account. Anyone wishing to make a donation to funds can do so by lodging their donations in the Seamus Ludlow Appeal Fund, Bank of Ireland, 78 Clanbrassil street, Dundalk. Account No. 70037984
In response to the recent question put to An Taoiseach and Minister John O'Donoghue, Jimmy added that at no time has the family met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, although Jimmy did speak with him briefly on one occasion.
Since the refusal of the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions prosecute in this case, the family have been in contact with the Director to ascertain why no prosecutions were taking place. British Irish Rights Watch have also asked for this.
The Dundalk Democrat, 7 August 1999: Ludlow murder inquiry report "A place and a name"
The Sunday Tribune, 8 August 1999: The case that is not going to go away
The Examiner, 10 August 1999: Report recommends inquiries into Ludlow murder, Dundalk bombing
The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 1999: "Ludlow inquiry must be public" - says Arthur Morgan
The Sunday Tribune, Sunday 17 October 1999, by Ed Moloney: North's DPP has decided not to charge Loyalists arrested in connection with Ludlow killing
The Dundalk Democrat, 21 October 1999: Private enquiries into Ludlow murder and Dundalk bombing
An Phoblacht/Republican News, 4 November 1999: Taoiseach to "reassess'' Ludlow case