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, 8 March 2003:
Ludlow murder: files to be made available
By Anne-Marie Eaton
Relatives of the late Seamus Ludlow, murdered in 1976 by loyalists, yesterday (Wednesday) stated they "welcomed with some caution" the news that they are to receive access to Garda files on Seamus' death.
Seamus' body was found in a ditch on a laneway close to his Mountpleasant home on May 2nd, 1976. The 47 year-old forestry worker had been shot three times.
The family have said they were told by Gardai for many years that Seamus had been murdered by the IRA. However this was always denied by republicans who contacted the family.
The Government Press Office confirmed last year that a new inquest is to be held into the murder.
Controversy surrounded the first inquest intro the death, as family members were not notified of the hearing.
Although Seamus' body was identified by his brother, Kevin, and a proposed deposition prepared, Kevin was not present at the inquest, and on his deposition, the then County Coroner, Dr Thomas Edward Scully noted: "not in attendance. away on holiday - just back, working in Newry. Could not be contacted".
In fact none of Seamus' family attended the inquest. A member of the Gardai had called to Kevin Ludlow's home in Cox's Demesne only forty-five minutes before the inquest, but because he was working in Newry, there was no way Kevin could make it back to Dundalk in time. The family still insist he had not been away on holiday as was suggested.
The Ludlow family also state that no attempt was made by Gardai to notify Seamus' sister - Mrs Nan Sharkey, with whom he had lived - of the inquest.
It later emerged that the Ludlow family had been "overlooked". This has since been admitted by Detective Sergeant Gannon in a letter sent to Mrs Sharkey's solicitors dated 16 January 1997 and also quoted in a British Irish Rights Watch Report into Seamus' death.
"In relation to the inquest, I wish to state that a member attached to Dundalk Station had, at the time, been given the task of notifying witnesses and family of the inquest, but it appeared he overlooked your client. I only became aware of this on the date of the inquest and did everything I could to correct the situation".
In an interview with the "Irish News" newspaper this week, County Coroner Ronan Maguire, who will conduct the new inquest, said he would be giving the Ludlow family access to the Garda files. He added that the files were substantial, containing more than 100 statements.
Mr Maguire also said he would be contacting the family in the near future to discuss the matter with them and ascertain their requirements.
Speaking to the "democrat" this week, Jimmy Sharkey, Seamus' nephew said that the family welcomed, with some caution, the news that they will finally get access to the files.
"The fact that the Coroner has confirmed the file is so big, angers us somewhat. When we made enquiries we were told it was only a small file, containing little information".
He added that this time around Seamus' family would attend the new inquest, and said: "We do welcome the Coroner's recent comments that he will make the files available to us, although until we actually see the file sitting in front of us, we will remain cautious and sceptical. After so many years of being lied to, we can't help but feel this way".
James McGuill, Solicitor for the Ludlow Family said his clients would be looking forward to participating fully in a comprehensive inquest into Seamus' murder.
He added that all the information available would be scrutinised to allay any public concerns.
No date as yet has been fixed for the inquest hearing.
I Top I
The Irish Independent, 19 July 2002: Fresh inquest into death of murdered man
The Irish News, 19 July 2002: Family welcome inquest 26 years after murder
The Irish Times, 19 July 2002: New inquest ordered into Louth man's death
The Dundalk Democrat, 20 July 2002: Second inquest to be held into the death of Seamus Ludlow
The Sunday Life, 28 July 2002: Inquest to name Ludlow killers
The Irish Examiner Online - Breaking News, 29 July 2002: Call for public inquiry into 1976 murder
Ulster Television (UTV), online 29 July 2002: Celtic League in demand over murder
The Examiner, 30 July 2002: Ludlow killers to be named
The Irish News, 6 August 2002: Celtic League to fight on for murder inquiry
The Argus (Dundalk), 23 August 2002: Coroner wants the law changed to compel witnesses to attend inquests
The Irish News, 27 August 2002, Loyalist victim's family call for answers
The Irish News, 29 August 2002: Murder bullets lost, Ludlow family told
Magill Magazine, September 2002:The Truth Trickles Out Mystery has always surrounded the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. An independent inquiry has been set up to look at the events surrounding the attacks, and the bombing of Dundalk the following year. Donall O Maolfabhail reports on its likely findings.
The Irish News 5 March 2003: Family's wait for murder file over
© 2003 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.