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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Dundalk Democrat, 22 December 2001.

Dundalk bomb victims' families still waiting on public inquiry.

By Anne Campbell.

The families of the two victims of the 1975 Dundalk bombing have called on the government once again for a public inquiry into the atrocity, as the 26th anniversary of the murders passes.

Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters died in the car bombing of Kay's Tavern on 19th December 1975. Maura McKeever, Jack's daughter,  and Margaret English have been campaigning for a number of years for a public inquiry into their fathers' deaths and are frustrated that their pleas are still falling on deaf ears.

Despite the fact that the Dublin-Monaghan bombing inquiry has  included the Dundalk incident in their remit, the investigations have reached stalemate due to the fact that potentially crucial British government files have not yet been released.

It is expected that the findings of the inquiry into Dublin-Monaghan  will go before a government committee some time in the New Year, but Maura McKeever expects that the Dundalk part may be delayed.

"Those files still haven't been handed over by the British government", she said yesterday. "We have been waiting nearly a year for them and they keep making excuses. Mr. Justice Barron, who is in charge of the inquiry, has asked them numerous times.

"This has been going on all year and this time last year, when we were commemorating the 25th anniversary of the bombing by unveiling the plaque at the Town Hall, I really thought we would get somewhere in 2001.

"Here we all are a year later and nothing really has changed. We are still calling for a public inquiry into the bombing and are adamant that this is the only way we will get the truth."

Maura says that her mother, who is 84, finds this time of the year particularly difficult.

"There has been no closure on this for us for 26 years - how much longer must we wait before we are given the truth?" she said.

"I want my mother to find out the truth about her husband's death too".

She is also critical of the Gardai, who have also refused to release evidence relating to the bombing. "The Gardai keep telling us that the file is not closed and the inquiry into the bombing is 'ongoing' and that's why it can't be handed over", says Maura.

"My father and Margaret's father have been deprived of their grandchildren and their grandchildren have been deprived of them", she added. "All we want is for the truth to be told and I really don't think that's too much to ask".

Despite the lack of progress, Maura says she and Margaret will keep fighting for justice. "We are almost back to square one, but we will keep looking at our options and we will keep fighting for the truth.

"It hasn't got any easier in the past 26 years but our determination is still strong", says Maura.

Meanwhile, the government have revealed that they have not changed their stance on the inquiry into the murder of another local man, Seamus Ludlow.

Local TD, Seamus Kirk, has asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to consider establishing a commission similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa to deal with the murder.

In a written reply, the Minister stated that his position on the matter remained the same: "The government decided, in principle, to establish an inquiry into this case as well as the Dublin-Monaghan and Dundalk cases.

"The proposed inquiry - which would be carried out on the same basis as the present Dublin-Monaghan bombings, in line with the recommendations of the Report of the Victims Commission - has not found favour with the relatives of the victim (the Ludlow family) or their legal representatives.

"In the circumstances, it has not so far been possible to progress the matter further.

"I am, however, keeping the matter under close review and I very much hope that the government will be in a position to proceed with the proposed inquiry as soon as possible."

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