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 May 1976:
Mountpleasant man murdered in cold blood
Grim discovery on a by-road
One of the most tragic happenings of recent years in Dundalk area was the unexplained murder of Mr Seamus Ludlow, aged 48 years and single, of Mountpleasant. Missing since he did not return home on Saturday night, his bullet riddled body was found on Sunday afternoon on a little-used by-road about a mile from his home.
So far no one has been made amenable for the crime, and the reason for it remains a complete mystery. Mr Ludlow, who lived with his widowed mother and a married sister on the main Dundalk-Newry road about five miles from Dundalk, was a quiet, inoffensive man, not known to have any connection whatever with any organizations associated with the Border troubles, at least one of which has repudiated responsibility.
High scale garda activity, including house to house questioning, has so far thrown no light on the reason for this foul murder, universally condemned by all who knew the deceased man as a peaceful, law abiding man.
Det. Supt. Dan Murphy of the Garda Technical Bureau, has set up an 89nvestigation headquarters at the Crescent Barrack, Dundalk, into the Ludlow murder, somewhat on the lines of that set up to investigate the pub bombing in Dundalk at Christmas. His team had thoroughly examined the spot where the body was found about 40 feet up a laneway off the "Bog Road", which leads from Thistle Cross ton the rear entrance to Ballymascanlan Hotel.
A visit to the spot will now show how intensely it has been combed for clues, even the sods of grass and parts of the hedges had been removed for examination. The gardai have also conducted house inquiries all over the North Louth area.
The Superintendent told a "Democrat" reporter yesterday (Friday) that investigations had traced Mr Ludlow's movements up to a point where he had been seen thumbing a lift on the Newry-Dundalk road, north of the Newry road bridge around midnight on last Saturday-Sunday night. He said that the investigating team had a good response from the general public, but they were still anxious to hear from anyone who may be able to provide them with the vital clue as to what happened after this point.
The Superintendent said that anyone who had any information to offer could ring Dundalk 32778 (the investigation headquarters number) in confidence. He particularly appealed to anybody who had been travelling on any North Louth road between 11.30 am and 1 pm on Sunday to come forward, or event if anyone knew of someone else who might be likely to have useful information.
He said that he would like to hear from persons who attended the function at Ballymascanlan Hotel on Saturday night and returned home by the "Bog Road" in the early hours of Sunday morning, or those who might have parked in one area at the time. He stressed that he would like anyone who heard shots about the time, anywhere in Dundalk or surrounding districts on this night, to let the gardai know.
The Superintendent also told our reporter that the post mortem had revealed that Mr Ludlow had died as a result of gunshot wounds only. He also shared that he had died without a struggle, and that he was dead for some hours before the body was found at 3 pm on Sunday.
Mr Ludlow was a son of Mrs Annie Ludlow and the late Mr James Ludlow, Thistle Cross, Mountpleasant, Dundalk. Mr Ludlow senior, came originally from Woodstown, Co Meath and his mother was a Miss McArdle of Monascriebe, Faughart.
Deceased is survived by his brothers Patrick and Kevin; step brother Barney Larkin; sisters Mrs Nan Sharkey, Mrs Eileen Fox, and Mrs Kathleen Donegan. He is also survived by his uncle, nephews, nieces, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
A huge concourse of people attended the removal of the remains to St Mary's Church, Ravensdale and interment which followed Mass on Wednesday to Calvary Cemetery. Mass was celebrated by Rev J. Keelan, P.P., Ravensdale, who also officiated at the graveside, Rev B McCreesh C.C., Very Rev O Sweeney Adm., and Rev B McNally C.C., assisted.
Decent people everywhere reacted with horror and revulsion at the brutal and senseless murder at the weekend of Seamus Ludlow of Mountpleasant. A friendly and inoffensive man, deceased was highly regarded by all who acquainted with him, and it is an indication of that esteem and a public condemnation of his killing that an unprecedented throng of sympathizers from town and country attended the removal of his remains and interment during the week.
If the law of the jungle is not to prevail, and if the good name of Ireland is not to be besmirched still further by an apparently meaningless and indiscriminate killing, it must be sincerely hoped that the callous murderers of Seamus Ludlow will be speedily apprehended and brought to justice. - not that that will restore him to his aged mother and his brothers and sisters, to whom deep sympathy is extended in their tragic loss.