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, 19 May 2001:

Justice Minister meets murder victims' families

By Anne-Marie Eaton

Last Monday's meeting of the Cabinet at Ballymascanlon afforded the families of the late Seamus Ludlow and victims of the Dundalk Bombing a meeting with Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue.

Seamus' brother Kevin Ludlow, and sisters Nan Sharkey and Eileen Fox, along with nephews Jimmy Sharkey and Brendan Larkin spoke to the minister on the effect Seamus' murder has had on them over the past twenty-five years and appealed for the veil of secrecy surrounding his murder to be lifted publicly.

Speaking to the "Democrat" this week, Jimmy Sharkey said they explained to the Minister that Seamus had been murdered only three hundred metres from the Ballymascanlon Hotel.

They also handed in a letter addressed to the Taoiseach, appealing for a public inquiry.

In the letter, Seamus' family asked for answers to questions which had arisen since the murder by what were believed to be members of the Loyalist Red Hand Commandos:

"The Ludlow family demands explanations for the manner in which the Gardai conducted the original murder investigation; why the investigation was abandoned after only three weeks without our being informed; why the Ludlow family was excluded from Seamus Ludlow's inquest on 19th august 1976; why the Gardai never went after the loyalist/British Army killers whose names were identified certainly by 1979. We want to know why these killers were protected from justice, and who issued instructions for the Gardai to suspend the initial murder investigation".

The family called on the Taoiseach to hold a public inquiry into the May 1976 murder, rather than include it in the Barron Inquiry.

"We believe that our case for a public inquiry in this tragic matter is as valid and compelling as any that you personally have made for a number of cases of collusion in the Six Counties.

"We commend your calls for public inquiries into the Pat Finucane and Robert Hamill murders in the North and we implore you to adopt the same standard in the murder of our relative Seamus Ludlow on this side of the border".

Margaret English on behalf of the families of Hugh Watters and Jack Rooney, the two men killed in the 1975 Dundalk Bombing, also handed in a letter requesting a meeting with the Taoiseach.

"The above case is being dealt with by Judge Henry Barron, we had hoped it would be moving along a lot faster, after a long 25 years. We are extremely disappointed that you have not met with us, although you have met with the families of Robert Hamill and many others.

"All we want is fair play and justice. Therefore, we would greatly appreciate if you could take some time to meet with us."

Margaretrsaid she was surprised that she along with the Ludlow family managed to have a meeting with the Minister for Justice. "we couldn't believe we were actually going to have a meeting with the Minister.

"He said that Dermot Ahern had made sure the Dundalk Bombing was included in the Barron Inquiry".

The fact that the families are involved in such a campaign can, at times, seem surreal as Margaret explained: "We were waiting at Ballymascanlon Hotel to meet the ministers and it was hard to believe that we have to stand up to get something done for our fathers to get justice. This should be done automatically".

She continues: "My father led a quiet life, but I will speak out for justice for him".

Originally the families had thought of protesting along with other groups on Monday last but then felt that a more peaceful approach was best taken

Jimmy Sharkey explains: "We decided it would not do our campaign any good roaring and shouting. As it turned out we were very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Minister O'Donoghue and Minister Dermot Ahern to discuss our case".

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