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







3 July 2002 - The Irish Attorney General has directed the Coroner for County Louth to hold a fresh inquest into the death of Seamus Ludlow.  . . . . Please return for updates and important developments.    This photograph of Seamus Ludlow was taken later in his life.This is a youthful photograph of Seamus Ludlow, taken several years before his murder.This memorial stone marks the place where the dead body of Seamus Ludlow was discovered on Sunday 2nd. May, 1976. This new stone recently replaced another stone.




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The Dundalk Democrat, 18 May 2002:

Book claims to identify Dundalk bombers

By Anne Campbell

A new book into the circumstances surrounding the Dundalk bombing of 1975 will name those believed to be responsible for the atrocity.

Two Dundalk men, Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters, were killed when the bomb, packed into a car, went off outside Kay's Tavern in Crowe Street on 19th December 1975. A government inquiry into the bombing has been going on for a couple of years under the direction of Justice Barron.

The book, by  journalist Joe Tiernan, will be published in the autumn and will highlight a number of cases such as the bombings of Dublin, Monaghan and Castleblayney as well as the murders of Seamus Ludlow, the Reavey brothers in Whitecross and the shootings at Donnelly's Bar, Silverbridge, which took place just three hours after the attack on Dundalk.

The book, which has been over 15 years in the writing, will be entitled 'Dublin-Monaghan Bombings and the Murder Triangle'. Joe Tiernan has a formidable reputation as a journalist and has previously worked for RTE's Today Tonight programme, Yorkshire Television and Channel Four.

According to the author, the two men who were responsible for the bombing in Dundalk are now deceased. They may have been responsible for about 150 Catholic murders during the 'Seventies and 'Eighties.

One of the men was murdered by an active IRA unit in Newtownhamilton in 1976, but in the three years before his death, he was operating from a Loyalist enclave of South Armagh with virtual immunity. Tiernan believes this man may have been responsible for about 30 murders between 1973 and 1976.

The other man, who was a leading and feared figure of the last 30 years of the Troubles, died of cancer in 1998 and the author asserts that this man was responsible for over 100 murders, including the 33 people who were killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Although there are few new details about the circumstances leading up to the bombing of Kay's Tavern, Tiernan poses interesting questions about the Garda investigation into the atrocity. According to him, Superintendent Dan Murphy, now deceased, was in charge of the investigation into the Dundalk bombing, the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the suspected murder of Captain Nairac.

During the course of researching the book, Tiernan claims he was told by another Garda, now retired, that when he and Murphy asked the RUC for help in tracing the car used in the Dundalk bombing, they refused

"We knew who planted the bomb but the RUC refused to cooperate with (us) in tracing the car so there was nothing we could do about it", said the retired Garda

The seemingly gaping differences in the way the Dundalk bombing and the Ludlow murder were handled in comparison to the murder of Nairac is a source of concern, contends Tiernan.

"In arresting and charging the suspected killer of Nairac, the Gardai in Dundalk were only doing their duty", says the book.

"However, the relatives of those killed in Dublin, Monaghan, Sallins, Dundalk and Castleblayney could be forgiven for asking what was going on.

"Dan Murphy is now dead and cannot answer the charges being laid against him. However, justice demands that his activities be brought into the public domain".

Despite legal challenges to his book, Tiernan is confident that it will be published in the autumn. Only a few hundred copies of the book will be made available through the author himself.

Speaking about the publication of the book, Maura McKeever, whose father, Jack Rooney, died in the Dundalk bombing, said that she was delighted with the author's efforts in tracing the bombers.

"I am glad that Joe will be finally putting out the book", she said. "There is a lot of fuss about the Garda investigation into the Omagh bombing, which is only right, but people like us seem to have been forgotten".

I Homepage I I Top I Barron Inquiry I I Terms of reference for Barron Inquiry I I Press Coverage I I Dundalk Bombing I

The Dundalk Democrat, 22 December 2001: Dundalk bomb victims' families still waiting on public inquiry

The Dundalk Democrat, 26 January 2002: Blayney bombing to feature in new book

Last Edited : 17 May 2002

Copyright 2002 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 17, 2002 .