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, 20 February 1999:
Ludlow family call for public inquiry
The possibility of a cover-up into the the murder investigation of Mountpleasant man Seamus Ludlow, almost twenty-three years ago was highlighted on both a national and local scale last Thursday by his family. A Press Conference was held in Buswells Hotel, Dublin, and later a Public Meeting took place in Dundalk Town Hall, writes Anne-Marie Eaton.
The family is seeking an independent public inquiry into Mr Ludlow's murder which occurred on 2nd May, 1976. His body was discovered in a laneway close to his home.
In recent years information has come to the family's attention, which suggests the murder was not carried out by the IRA, as they had been led to believe by certain Gardai in Dundalk, but by loyalist paramilitaries with involvements in the Red Hand Commandos.
Name on file
They have found out from a senior ranking member of the Gardai in Dublin that the names of the men allegedly responsible for the murder had been on file as far back as 1979.
However, Jimmy Sharkey, nephew of the deceased, stated in Dublin on Thursday, that whenever he or the deceased's brother, Kevin, approached Dundalk Gardai they were told there was no indications on file as to who committed the murder.
Also, Kevin had been told by one particular Garda in Dundalk many times over a twenty year span that the murder was carried out by the IRA.
Information was also given by the family on Thursday that they had tried to speak with a retired Detective Chief Superintendent and a Detective, both of whom had been involved in the investigation, but had not been welcomed. One had been very courteous until he recognised that one of those making enquiries was named Ludlow, it was claimed.
The family went on to say how they were stopped from getting any additional information. This included their very late notification of the inquest, which took place in August, 1976. A member of the Gardai, without their consent stated that he was a representative for the family at the inquest.
It was revealed that the family are now seeking legal advice on a possible civil action against Gardai.
On 18th February, 1998, four men were detained at Castlereagh, Belfast, in connection with investigations into Seamus Ludlow's murder and a file was later sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland.
The Ludlow family feel those involved may plead guilty and will only receive a small sentence, if any, under the Good Friday Agreement.
Among those in attendance at Buswells Hotel were Dail Deputies, Caoimhghin O'Caolain, Seamus Kirk - who has brought up the matter in Dail proceedings on numerous occasions - and Brendan McGahon who said, that despite difficulties with members of the family in the past, would give his support.
Chairman of Louth County Council, Miceal O'Donnell was also in attendance.
Among those who spoke at the meeting in Dundalk Town Hall were Mgr Raymond Murray, human rights activist; and Jane Winter, of British Irish Rights Watch, who compiled a recent report on Mr Ludlow's death.
At both the Press Conference and the Public Meeting details of the murder were given, based on information provided by Paul Hosking, an eyewitness to the murder.
A number of years ago, Mr Hosking told his story to the RUC and claims he was told to "forget about it, it's political."
Given a lift
Mr. Hosking said in discussions with the family that as the car in which Seamus Ludlow had been given a lift reversed into the laneway close to Ludlow's home, Hosking got out of the car to relieve himself.
As he walked away from the yellow two-door Datsun, he heard a loud bang and turned to see the front seat passenger of the car "shooting in at Seamus".
Mr Ludlow's last words were "O My God" as a first shot hit him. He put his hand up to shield himself and the second bullet passed through the hand and into his lungs. The third shot was fatal hitting the heart, Mr Hosking told the family.
A number of local and county councillors of different political persuasions were in attendance at the meeting which, according to Miceal O'Donnell, showed the support for the family and their appeal for a public inquiry.
Before concluding the meeting, Jimmy Sharkey and Michael Donegan, both nephews of the deceased thanked those who had helped the family to date including journalists, Joe Tiernan and Ed Moloney who had brought them vital information, and British Irish Rights Watch and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
They also thanked the representatives of the families of the Dublin and Monaghan bombing victims as well as other people in a similar situation.