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, 28 February 2004;
 

Murder on their mind

 

Anne Marie Eaton reports on a stressful week for the relatives of Seamus Ludlow

Justice Henry Barron arriving at Dundalk for a meeting with the Ludlow family.Four men questioned in relation to the May 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow, were in Dundalk on the night in question with murder on their mind.

Seamus' relatives this week met with Justice Henry Barron to discuss his ongoing report into the Mountpleasant man's murder.

Speaking after the meeting, Seamus' nephew, Jimmy Sharkey said the family were relieved to hear that information sourced in recent years has proven to be correct.

"It has been confirmed to us that the four men had travelled to Dundalk with plans to murder a particular person. But, whatever happened, Seamus was picked randomly and murdered."

Seamus Ludlow was murdered on the 1st May 976. he 47-year-old forestry worker was shot three times and his body dumped in a ditch in a laneway close to his home.

Initial reports suggested the IRA murdered him, but in more recent years an eyewitness to the murder, Paul Hosking went to the newspapers with his account of events from that night. The murder, he said, was carried out by UDR men with links to the Loyalist Red Hand Commandos. Hosking said that he went to the RUC in 1987 with the information and was told "Forget it, it's political."

In 1998, four men, including Hosking, were questioned in Castlereagh. However, the Director of |Public Prosecutions later said that no proceedings should be issued.

In the two hours he spent with the Ludlow family this week, Justice Barron visited the spot where Seamus' body was dumped, now marked by a memorial. He also paid a visit to the family home on the Newry Road.

Jimmy Sharkey says his family were "reasonably satisfied" with the meeting.

"Our reason for meeting with Justice Barron was to let him know we don't want any information suppressed, and he, in turn, has said this will not happen.

"But we still don't know why information obtained years ago was suppressed. Why was nothing ever done with information passed on to the authorities as far back as 1979. The names of Seamus' murderers were known to Gardai 25 years ago."

In a meeting with Northern Ireland Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan in 2002 the family were told that the four names were given to the RUC Special Branch in 1977. This was passed on to Detective Chief Superintendent John Courtney on February 15 1979 at a meeting with the RUC Special Branch held in Belfast.

Mrs O'Loan couldn't give an explanation why the DPP didn't prosecute the four men in 1998. There were strong charges and in her view there could have been prosecutions.

Jimmy says the family do not expect the report into Seamus' murder to be published for some months yet, as Justice Barron has not concluded his work, but they add they are willing to wait and see what he outcome is.

"From what we can see, Justice Barron is a reasonably honourable man, who is trying to do his best in a given situation, so we will go along with him and see what the outcome is."

Four men questioned in relation to the May 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow, were in Dundalk on the night in question with murder on their mind.

Seamus' relatives this week met with Justice Henry Barron to discuss his ongoing report into the Mountpleasant man's murder.

Speaking after the meeting, Seamus' nephew, Jimmy Sharkey said the family were relieved to hear that information sourced in recent years has proven to be correct.

"It has been confirmed to us that the four men had travelled to Dundalk with plans to murder a particular person. But, whatever happened, Seamus was picked randomly and murdered."

Seamus Ludlow was murdered on the 1st May 976. he 47-year-old forestry worker was shot three times and his body dumped in a ditch in a laneway close to his home.

Initial reports suggested the IRA murdered him, but in more recent years an eyewitness to the murder, Paul Hosking went to the newspapers with his account of events from that night. The murder, he said, was carried out by UDR men with links to the Loyalist Red Hand Commandos. Hosking said that he went to the RUC in 1987 with the information and was told "Forget it, it's political."

In 1998, four men, including Hosking, were questioned in Castlereagh. However, the Director of |Public Prosecutions later said that no proceedings should be issued.

In the two hours he spent with the Ludlow family this week, Justice Barron visited the spot where Seamus' body was dumped, now marked by a memorial. He also paid a visit to the family home on the Newry Road.

Jimmy Sharkey says his family were "reasonably satisfied" with the meeting.

"Our reason for meeting with Justice Barron was to let him know we don't want any information suppressed, and he, in turn, has said this will not happen.

"But we still don't know why information obtained years ago was suppressed. Why was nothing ever done with information passed on to the authorities as far back as 1979. The names of Seamus' murderers were known to Gardai 25 years ago."

In a meeting with Northern Ireland Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan in 2002 the family were told that the four names were given to the RUC Special Branch in 1977. This was passed on to Detective Chief Superintendent John Courtney on February 15 1979 at a meeting with the RUC Special Branch held in Belfast.

Mrs O'Loan couldn't give an explanation why the DPP didn't prosecute the four men in 1998. There were strong charges and in her view there could have been prosecutions.

Jimmy says the family do not expect the report into Seamus' murder to be published for some months yet, as Justice Barron has not concluded his work, but they add they are willing to wait and see what he outcome is.

"From what we can see, Justice Barron is a reasonably honourable man, who is trying to do his best in a given situation, so we will go along with him and see what the outcome is."

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See also:

RTE Television News, online, 23 February 2004: Barron meets relatives of man killed by UDA

The Irish News, 24 February 2004: Relatives of 1976 murder victim meet Justice Barron

The Irish Daily Star (Northern edition), 24 February 2004: Loyalist murder report hope

The Dundalk Democrat, 28 February 2004: Gardai have the Ludlow bullets

 

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Copyright 2004 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.

Revised: February 27, 2004 .