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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ICCL News The Newsletter of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, November 1998, Volume 10, Number 3


Inquiry Call into Murder cover-up

ICCL has been contacted by the family of Louth man Seamus Ludlow who was found murdered near the Dundalk-Newry road in May 1976. Mr. Ludlow had no connection with any paramilitary group but Gardai appear to have treated the case as an IRA murder of an informer, causing a lot of grief and pain to his family.

To make things worse, the family were not contacted in time about the inquest and were unable to be present or to have questions asked for them.

Recent press revelations have indicated that Mr. Ludlow was a random and completely innocent victim of members of a loyalist paramilitary group from Northern Ireland. It also appears that Gardai knew about this shortly after the murder but did not inform the dead man's family or lift the cloud of suspicion in the local area. Instead they seem to have closed their file on the case.

There are suspicions that the whole episode was covered up because one member of the murder gang may have been an informer for the RUC in the North.

"Prompted by the press revelations the Gardai have recently begun an internal inquiry into the case and the findings seem to support the family's claims, but the family want an independent inquiry set up, with the power to get at the truth behind the cover-up.

ICCL supports the call for an independent inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow and its subsequent handling by the Gardai. The Ludlow family are entitled to know the truth about this murder and its apparent cover-up and it is no good having the police investigating the police. The inquiry should be completely independent and headed by a judge or a senior lawyer. Maybe that would set a precedent for other inquiries into Garda conduct instead of the ineffectual Garda Complaints Board.

The Ludlow family is indebted to ICCL's continued support for their demand for a public inquiry. 

ICCL once again declared its support at its annual general meeting in 2001:


5.    This AGM supports the campaign by the Ludlow family for a full independent public inquiry into all of the circumstances surrounding the murder of Seamus Ludlow. The lack of a proper investigation into his murder is a flagrant breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The family of Mr. Ludlow have had to endure the fact that the names of his killers were known to the Gardai and withheld from them, as well as the persistent refusal of the Irish Government to establish a full independent public inquiry. ICCL calls on the Government to establish such an inquiry without further delay. (Proposed by Michael Finucane)


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Last Edited: 30 August 2002