Thank you for
coming! And please call again to hear more about the Ludlow
family's campaign for a public inquiry into this innocent
man's death in north County Louth, Ireland, in May 1976, at
the hands of Loyalist Red Hand Commandoand
British Army killers from County Down, in the north
Ludlow family believes that these killers of Seamus Ludlow
have been protected, and continue to be protected, by the authorities on both sides of the
Irish border and that they have escaped justice!
site is divided into two sections - as seen in the menu to
introduction to the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the long
cover-up - with background information and a chronology
giving an outline of the Ludlow family's experience from
1976 to recent times. See also seamusludlow.com
The Ludlow family's long
campaign for Truth and Justice
- outlining recent
developments in their struggle for a public
inquiry and including the full text of an independent
report, produced in February 1999, by Jane Winter of British
Irish Rights Watch, London.
groups all support our demands for public inquiries - north
and south - to get the full truth behind Seamus Ludlow's
murder and the long cover-up and smear campaign that
protected his killers. The authorities in Dublin and
London remain determined in their shameful refusal to face
up to their responsibilities in this and other cases of
state collusion in loyalist terrorism!
are they trying to hide? That is the inescapable question!
will be no public inquiry in either jurisdiction unless they
are met by overwhelming pressure from human rights groups
and victims' families, making it impossible to continue
standing against their demands for justice and truth in this
and other collusion cases.
their shame, the Dublin authorities show no sign of
relenting in their refusal to countenance a public inquiry
into the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
publicly stated apologies, before an Oireachtas Committee,
to the Ludlow family from the former Garda Commissioner and
the former Minister for Justice, the Irish state authorities
remain adamant that there will be no public inquiry and that
the secret garda investigation files will never be revealed
to the Ludlow family or their lawyers!
Ludlow family remain adamant that they must change their
attitude! They cannot bury their heads in the sand and
pretend that nothing much is wrong in the Seamus Ludlow
case. Their public apologies, if they mean anything at all,
must be followed by a public inquiry to finally uncover the
whole truth behind this sad affair in the lives of the
important questions of garda lies and cover-ups, missing
bullets and clothing, missing garda files and the refusal to
go after the indentified suspects in 1979 and afterwards,
will not simply go away if they refuse to accept the
overwhelming need for an inquiry into the actions of the
state authorities in the aftermath of Seamus Ludlow's
incredible indifference to the pain felt by the grieving
brother and three surviving sisters of Seamus Ludlow merely
adds to the torment that has been heaped upon them by the
cruel murder of their innocent brother.
site will be updated with further information, including press
reports. Follow the links at the left margin to get to
Visitors are welcome to leave messages on our new
Bravenet Guestmap Guest
Book. If you support our demands, please visit the
guestmap. Please show your support for justice for Seamus
Ludlow. Messages left by evil spammers will be deleted
Guestbook has now closed, but visitors can view the kind
messages posted there by other supporters on another
Ludlow (born 4 December 1929 - murdered 2 May 1976) was for
many years a forgotten and unrecognised victim of the
Troubles, denied justice and recognition as an innocent
victim of pro-British sectarian murder gangs and smeared for
political reasons by the authorities who failed in their
duty to uphold the law and protect the
family today demands truth and justice for their loved one.
They demand nothing less than full disclosure of the truth
behind this shocking murder through public inquiries on both
sides of the Irish border.
Three garda investigations - in
1976, 1979 and 1998 - and a private judicial inquiry under Mr
Justice Barron, which reported in November 2005, have
all failed to find the truth behind the cover-up and the
failure to bring the known killers to justice.
recent Oireachtas Justice Sub-Committee Report,
published March 2006, on the murder of Seamus Ludlow has
disappointingly called for another private inquiry meeting
behind closed doors. To date no such inquiry has
further garda investigation, mounted after the release of
the oireachtas report, has apparently ended without the
possibility of prosecutions. It has proved to be, as the
Ludlow family predicted, a complete waste of time.
Two of Seamus
Ludlow's loyalist killers were British soldiers at the time of his
murder in May 1976. They are known to have been members of
the locally recruited, and almost entirely Protestant and
loyalist, Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), and it was
rumoured, one of the
suspects was identified as a captain in that
One of the
UDR personnel was later imprisoned for his role in another
murder a few weeks after the murder of Seamus Ludlow. The
second UDR man remained in the British Army until his
retirement on pension in 1994! It mattered not that he had
been identified as a murder suspect by the RUC in 1977. He
was still seen to be suitable for service in the British
of the four men suspected of involvement in this killing
have recently been revealed in Dublin with the publication
of the Barron Report, in November
According to the
later Oireachtas Committee
Report, published March 2006, the name of one of these
individuals was passed by the RUC to the Garda just a few
weeks before the murder of Seamus Ludlow!
This opens up the
possibility that both police forces may have had some
fore-warning of this murderous incursion into County Louth!
It raises questions as to what, if anything, was done to
lies about this innocent victim of British terrorism in
Ireland later featured in evil books of propaganda for
Army and SAS. The victim's memory was disgraced by false
allegations that he was an informer for the British
authorities in the North who was killed by the IRA, and that
he deserved his fate!
Disgraceful messages left briefly by
sick minded Loyalists on this site's guestbook have
attempted to perpetuate these utterly false lies. Naturally,
such messages have been removed!
Seamus Ludlow, was
abducted while on his way home from a Dundalk bar around
midnight on 1 May 1976. He was taken to a lane near his
Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, home, just a short distance
south of the border in County Louth, and shot three times.
The body was then dumped high upon a ditch and the UDR/Red
Hand Commando killers
made good their escape.
To this day,
Seamus Ludlow's Loyalist killers have never faced justice;
indeed, the Ludlow family is now painfully aware that they
have in fact been protected all along by the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) and the Irish Garda.
It has been
revealed that the RUC had identified these killers within
seven months of the crime being committed - but they did
nothing with the information in their possession! They did
not pass information to the gardai until 1979 - and,
shamefully, the gardai did not request further action of the
Four men, all Loyalists, three with connections to
the outlawed Red Hand Commando murder gang, were finally
arrested for questioning about this crime by the RUC
in February 1998, but they were
all released without charge, even though two had made
self-incriminating statements about their involvemnt in the
murder of Seamus Ludlow..
files on all four suspects were sent to the Northern Ireland
Director of Public Prosecutions (NIDPP), who eventually
decided that none of the men would face charges for this
. No reason for this failure to press
charges has ever been given!
One of these
, Paul Hosking, has gone public and told
the story of his presence as a witness at the murder of
Seamus Ludlow. His story has appeared in an article by
Moloney in the Sunday Tribune of 8 March 1998. It is the
story he has given to the RUC on two occasions - in 1987 and
1998 - but no further action has been taken.
now apparently "reformed" and renamed the Police Service of Northern
Ireland (PSNI). Still, no further action has been taken
against the men who murdered Seamus Ludlow. Such is the
force's indifference that a Ludlow family request made in
writing in 1999 for a meeting with the then Chief Constable
Ronnie Flanagan to discuss the investigation has never
Mr Flanagan has now retired, without ever responding
to the Ludlow family's request! He has latterly been posted
to Iraq, ironically given the task of helping form a new civilian
police force! Incredible!
family demand to know why these murderers have been
protected by the RUC, the NIDPP, and the gardai. Why was
Seamus Ludlow's reputation smeared by the authorities? Was
it to protect the image of the British Army's notorious
(now renamed the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), the
regiment that sheltered at least two of the
Was it to
protect an agent or intelligence asset among the killers? Or
were these evil men engaged in military operations for the
British authorities across the Irish border? These are the
questions - and there are many more - that must be answered
by the RUC, the British Army and the gardai.
revelations suggest that the killers of Seamus Ludlow came
to Dundalk on that fateful night in search for another man,
who is now deceased. The intended target (whose name is
known to the Ludlow family) could not be found and the
killers, by chance, came upon the unsuspecting Seamus Ludlow
on their way home.
On 21 February 2002, the Ludlow family was
informed that the Dublin Government had decided to disregard
their demands for a public inquiry and would go ahead with a
private inquiry under Mr Justice Henry
Barron. This information was conveyed by Mr Michael
McDowell, the then Attorney General. (Mr McDowell is
now the Minister for Justice.)
The AG was reassured that the Ludlow
family's position regarding the private Barron Inquiry had
not altered since their previous meeting with Mr John
O'Donoghue, then Minister for Justice. For more about this
please read the report from the Dundalk
Democrat. of 23 February 2002.
grave misgivings about the Irish Government's proposals, the
Ludlow family have had useful meetings with Mr Justice
Barron regarding his private inquiry into the murder of
Seamus Ludlow. Following legal advice the Ludlow family
decided to give Mr Justice Barron their full cooperation,
without withdrawing their call for a public inquiry.
At a meeting
on 14 November 2002, Mr Justice Barron reported that he had
received practically no cooperation from the British
authorities in the North of Ireland, where no doubt there
are RUC and British Army security files that would be very
helpful in getting at the truth behind the murder of Seamus
Ludlow. His report, published on 3
November 2005, confirmd this lack of cooperation from
the British authorities.
Please click here for the proposed Terms
of Reference for the private Barron inquiry. This page
also features a recent letter from the Department of the
Taoiseach which gives further details of the proposed Joint
Oireachtas Committee inquiry process. The recent Supreme
Court decision in the Abbeylara case may yet place this public
element of the Irish government's inquiry in some
Read the Dundalk
Democrat's report of the Ludlow family's constructive
meeting of 19 April 2002 with Mr Justice Henry
In another development, on 4 March 2002, members of
the Ludlow family, once again accompanied by Jane Winter of
BIRW, met with Police
Ombudsman Mrs Nuala O'Loan and her investigations team
Among a number of surprising revelations was the fact
that the RUC (now the PSNI) first became aware of the
Loyalist killers' identities and other substantive
information as early as 1977 - if not much earlier than that
- and, for reasons not yet specified, this information was
withheld from the gardai until 1979.
It was also revealed that there was no new
information on file at the time of the four arrests in
February 1998, and that the arrests were based solely on the
information that had been available in 1979 - or was that
1977 (and only months after Seamus Ludlow's
No information could be provided to account for the
RUC's failure to pass the information on to the gardai
before 1979, nor could it be shown that the RUC did anything
at all with this information. The Ludlow family was not at
all impressed by this apparent failure of the RUC to
apprehend or take any action against the killers of Seamus
The Ludlow family does not share the ombudsman's
belief that the RUC behaved properly in this case. The
shameful and inexplicable failure of the gardai to act with
the information they received in 1979 in no way excuses the
RUC's inaction throughout.
July 2002 - In an important new development for the
Ludlow family, the office of the Irish Attorney General Rory
Brady wrote to the Ludlow family solicitor regarding the
holding of a fresh inquest into the death of Seamus
The family's lawyer James
MacGuill had written on 30
May 2002 requesting of the AG that he exercise his
powers under section 24(1) of the Coroners Act, 1962 and
direct the holding of a fresh inquest into the death of
The Ludlow family had long
complained of the way that the original "inquest" was
conducted in their absence. The Gardai appear to have gone
to certain lengths to ensure that the family was not
present. Another issue of contention was the failure of the
original "inquest" to examine the forensics and ballistic
reports that were available at that time. It is hoped that a
fresh inquest will put right some of the obvious failings of
the deeply flawed "inquest" of 19 August 1976.
The AG's representative wrote
to James MacGuill, the Ludlow family solicitor, on 3
"I am now pleased to inform
you that the Attorney General has acceded to that request,
which you have made on behalf of the relatives of Mr
"The Attorney has, by a recent
letter, directedthe Coroner for County Louth, Mr
Ronan Maguire BL to hold an inquest into the death of Seamus
This important new development
was reported in the local Dundalk
Democrat on 20 July 2002.
Incredibly, delay would follow
delay, and almost three full years would pass before the
County Louth coroner would be in a position to name a date
for the new inquest to commence.
A preliminary hearing would
not take place until 24 May 2005! The coroner, Mr. Ronan
Maguire, then proposed 5 September as the date for the
full inquest to commence.
In March 2003 the Ludlow
family heard from a journalist
that the coroner Mr Maguire wanted to meet with the family
shortly and that he intended to grant full access to the
gardai's murder investigation file - apparently an extensive
document containing 100 witness statements. This welcome
development contrasted completely with the stubborn refusal
of both the gardai and the RUC/PSNI to turn over their
"confidential" files to the Ludlow family.
It remained to be seen whether
the files concerned included the recent internal gardai
Murphy investigation which examined the role of the gardai
in the original botched investigation of 1976; or, indeed,
the file that was received from the RUC in 1979 - the file
that identified at least three of Seamus Ludlow's alleged
When the file was handed over
it contained only witness statements, many of which were
barely legible or incomplete, and there was no sign of the vital forensics
and ballistics reports. And no sign of the Murphy Report!
None of the files the Ludlow family wanted to see were made
As 2003 was coming to a close
there were reports that the Gardai were apparently resisting
requests from the Coroner for access to the Murphy
investigation report of 1998. See article from The Irish
News, 7 October 2003: Coroner
still awaiting copy of murder report
In another important
development the Celtic League organization called for a
public inquiry at its Annual General Meeting, held in the
Isle of Man. The Celtic League's statement
can be found on this site.
The Murphy file was finally
handed over to the Louth Coroner Ronan Maguire in October
2004 - more than two full years after the fresh inquest was
announced. The garda obstruction only ceased when the
Coroner threatened to refer it to the Attorney
As outlined above,
the long-awaited preliminary hearing for
the Seamus Ludlow inquest finally took place in Dundalk
courthouse on 24 May 2005: almost three full years after
the Attorney General had issued instructions that it be
held. The preliminary hearing attracted only brief
coverage by the national media, but it was given some
prominence in the local Argus and Dundalk
At the preliminary hearing, 5
September 2005 was the date set for the full
The fresh inquest began as
planned on the morning of 5 September and was concluded on
the evening of the 6 September. The inquest atracted
considerable interest from press and broadcast
A jury of 6 men and four
women unanimously returned a verdict that Seamus Ludlow's
death was an Unlawful Killing, caused by gunshot wounds,
with the medical cause of death being shock and
A number of important points also emerged from the
Retired Dt Supt. John Courtney, who received
a file naming four suspects, from the RUC in
February 1979, stated that he was made aware of the
four strong suspects in 1979 but was not given
permission from Garda headquarters to pursue the
investigation further. This was the first public
admission that the murder investigation had been
blocked by the Garda authorities in Dublin.
The same four suspects were questioned in
1998 and two of the men gave similar accounts of
their involvement. Again, this was a first public
No Garda was recorded as being given
responsibility for contacting the Ludlow family for
the first inquest in August 1976.
Seamus Ludlow was not murdered by the IRA nor
was he a member of the IRA. The suspicion of IRA
involvement had been excluded from the murder
investigation within three months of the murder,
though the Ludlow family were never informed.
Indeed, family members were still being told this
lie nearly twenty years
No trace of the victim's clothing or of two
of the fatal bullets can be found.
Much has already been written about Seamus Ludlow's
death, and much of it has distorted the facts. He has been
falsely accused in British and Irish quarters of being an
informer for the British forces in the Six Counties - a foul
charge that the Ludlow family has always denied.
He has been
alleged to have been murdered by the IRA - who have always
denied that charge. It has also been falsely claimed by
gardai in Dundalk that members of the Ludlow family were
involved in this foul crime.
Such evil lies - British and Irish - were spread to
distract attention away from the truth that this was a
sectarian murder committed in the Irish state by British
state forces who may have enjoyed the collusion of the Irish
These evil lies persisted even though, as we now
know, the true identities of the Loyalist/UDR killers were
known very soon after Seamus Ludlow was murdered. It is
known that both the RUC and the Irish gardai had a file on
at least three of the killers in 1979, if not much earlier.
- that their names were known by 1977! Yet, still, they did
nothing to bring the killers to justice. And still they
The Ludlow family has already exposed the
smear campaign that was used to blacken the reputation of
the innocent victim - both in the press and on TV, and more
recently in another Ludlow family website.
The Ludlow family has also given their truthful account to
internationally respected human rights activists and groups.
A detailed account has been published in the book
"Unfinished Business State Killings and the Quest for
Truth", by University of Ulster academic Professor Bill Rolston (Beyond the Pale Publications, Belfast,
In 2001, the Ludlow family marked the 25th
anniversary of this foul murder with a commemoration
at the memorial seen above, in the County Louth lane, near
the Ballymascanlan Hotel, where the crime was
committed on 2 May 1976.
The Ludlow family continues to hope that in the
very near future there will be confirmation of an imminent
public inquiry from the Dublin Department of Justice.
demands for a public inquiry have met with silence from the
British authorities in Belfast who have failed to
acknowledge their forces' involvement in this horrific crime
and the cover-up.
South of the border, the Dublin government stubbornly
refuses to accede to our demands for a public inquiry into
the Gardai's shameful role in this affair.
further information about this campaign please visit our Press
Coverage page where you will find links to pages
with national and local newspaper reports of important
events since the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
you to speak out about this terrible injustice. Support our
demands for justice and truth for Seamus Ludlow. Thank
From the website
of Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) Radio, dated 18 February
Family of man
abducted and killed in 1976 claim there was a
cover-up One night at the beginning of May in 1976, a
47-year-old forestry worker, Seamus Ludlow, was abducted
and shot as he was hitching a lift to his home in Dundalk.
His killers have still not been brought to justice. Seamus
Ludlow's family say he was an ordinary man, with no
connections to any paramilitary organisation. They believe
loyalists were responsible for his murder, and they claim
there has been a cover-up on both sides of the border to
protect his killers.
October/November 2005: A group of supporters
kindly produced a music CD in aid of our Seamus Ludlow
Appeal Fund. The CD, which is no longer available,
raised valuable funds for this campaign.
The CD features as its leading track An
Ode To Seamus Ludlow written exclusively for the CD by
Phil McCabe and brought forth by the voice talents of Tom
Moore. To Phil and Tom and to all who helped produce this
excellent CD, a sincere vote of thanks.
Anniversary Commemoration: I 1
The Ludlow family supports the campaign by the Rooney
and Watters families of Dundalk for an inquiry into the
murderous Dundalk Bombing of 19 December 1975 which resulted
in the sectarian murder of Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters.
Further information can be accessed at their campaign