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, 22 May 2004:

A Quiet Anniversary

The anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings passed this week with very little of the publicity which surrounded the atrocities 30 years ago. There was a wreath laying ceremony at the simple and beautiful memorial on Talbot Street. An taoiseach Bertie Ahern was there with other dignitaries, but the most important in attendance were the survivors and relatives of those who lost their lives in what is still the biggest act of terrorism and loss of life in Ireland during the Troubles.

The three car bombs went off within minutes of each other shortly before 5.30pm on May 17 1974. Men, women and children were killed or dreadfully mutilated in the bombings, which carried no warnings.

Less than an hour later, in Monaghan town, more lives were lost when another bomb exploded. It is hard for younger people to imagine the scene of devastation and the sense of shock which reverberated around Ireland that day.

Scenes of charred bodies lying on the ground, of the walking wounded stunned and bleeding, the twisted metal of what was left of the cars and the glass from dozens of shop windows strewn all around, continue to make an impact when they're shown on television.

Over the last couple of weeks, the inquests have been held into the deaths of the 33 people who lost their lives that day. Witness after witness came to Dublin Coroner's Court to tell the world what they saw, what they did and how this has affected them.

One survivor of the bombing was asked this week if he remembered much about that awful day. He said: "Yes, it seems like it was just yesterday".

The bombings were 30 years ago but this man's life, and hundreds like him, have been put on hold because of the many unanswered questions as to the hows and whos of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

There are those in Dundalk who too know all about unanswered questions. Maura McKeever, who lost her father, Jack Rooney, and Margaret Watters, whose father, Hugh Watters, was also murdered in the Dundalk bombing of 1975 know what it's like not to know.

The Ludlow and Sharkey families are still waiting for answers about Seamus Ludlow, whose murder remains one of the Troubles most murky episodes.

A full public inquiry is the only solution. It has to be asked what the government is afraid of. What are they hiding and what do they know about the shady goings-on that led to these murders and their aftermath?

Huge expense is being lavished on tribunals of inquiry into dodgy planning and political backhanders. Although these are important matters, it looks like the government has got its priorities wrong.

No-one died because of what Liam Lawlor or George Redmond did or didn't do. But in the very same city where those inquiries are taking place, dozens of people lost their lives 30 years ago and no-one really knows how or why.

The families of those who died in Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk have been promised much over the last three decades, but have got little. When the Dublin and Monaghan inquests are over, it's doubtful whether the families will know any more than they did this week 30 years ago.

But the determination to find the truth, which has been the hallmark of these families for so many years, will not be shaken. To really draw a line under these dreadfully dark days of our history, public inquiries are needed.

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See also:

The Irish Daily Star, 1 April 2004: Call for bombings inquiry in U.K. Dail committee reports findings.

The Irish News, April 1 2004:'Cory-style  bombings probe should be held in the north'

Justice for the Forgotten at

The Barron Report on the May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings can be downloaded in pdf format from


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Revised: May 25, 2004 .