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 Examiner, 10 August 1999:
Report recommends inquiries into Ludlow murder, Dundalk bombing
The Republic's Victims' Commission has called for a private, independent inquiry to be held into the 1976 murder of Cooley man Seamus Ludlow. It also recommends an inquiry into the Dundalk bombing of 1975 when two people were killed.
The Commission's report into the needs of those south of the border bereaved and injured by the Troubles, which was published last week, described allegations about the conduct of the certain Gardai and the investigation into the Ludlow killing as "very disturbing".
But as a file on the case is still with the DPP in Northern Ireland, the commission said the inquiry should not publish its report until any prosecution had finished or within 12 months of completing its work, whichever is the later.
Former Irish Tanaiste John Wilson, who chairs the Victims' Commission, said he favoured an inquiry in the Republic because, a criminal trial will not necessarily bring out the full facts of the case."
Seamus Ludlow was last seen hitching a lift around midnight on May 1st 1976 after leaving a pub in Dundalk. His body was found the following day, dumped in a lane at Culfore just half a mile from his home close to the border. He had been shot at point blank range three times in the chest.
It is now over 18 months since the family of the Louth forestry worker received fresh information about his murder, including the likelihood that security forces on both sides of the border knew the identity of the killers as long ago as 1979. Gardai had originally told the family the IRA was responsible.
But it is now believed loyalists from the Red Hand Commandos were behind the murder but that a cover-up was mounted for two decades by authorities north and south of the border because of alleged involvement by members of the UDR and one or more security force agents.
Last February four men were arrested by the RUC and questioned in Belfast for six days about the killing. They were all released without charge and a file sent to the DPP in the North for consideration. A decision on whether or not to prosecute is still pending.
Earlier this year Gardai compiled a report into the Ludlow murder which was submitted to the Irish Government and resulted in an internal Garda inquiry being set up to examine the force's handling of the case. However the planned judicial inquiry will have a much wider remit.
Relatives of Mr Ludlow have called however for a public inquiry to take place. Louth TD Dermot Ahern welcomed the Report of the Victims' Commission and its recommendation for a full inquiry into the murder of Mr Ludlow and the subsequent handling of the case. And referring to the Dundalk bombing, he added "I would hope that following the publication of this report, more people will come forward with information to assist all inquiries into this atrocity."
A private, independent inquiry will also be held into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings which left 33 people dead, to be headed by a former Supreme Court judge. Other recommendations in the report are for compensation payments, a day of remembrance for victims and a memorial building, probably to be located near the border.
relatives of those killed in the attacks have expressed anger that the inquiry won't be held in public but John Wilson has defended the recommendation. The conclusions will be published, he stated, and private hearings would avoid a media circus as well as ensuring people are not put through the trauma of publicity.
Evidence may also be received in private which would not be available in public, he concluded.
I Homepage I I Top I I Press coverage I I Irish Victims Commission Report. I I The Irish News, 7 August 1999: Ludlows call for public inquiry I I The Dundalk Democrat, 7 August 1999: Ludlow murder inquiry report "A place and a name" I The Sunday Tribune, 8 August 1999: The case that is not going to go away I