A report into the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow has not
been able to clearly establish who killed him.
The 100-page reoort by Justice Henry Barron
published by the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality,
Defence and Women's Rights, said the Dundalk forestry
worker's death was a random sectarian killing of an innocent
Catholic by loyalist extremists.
The document also states that it was "most
probable" that the Garda decision not to pursue
information offered by the RUC in the Ludlow inquiry was
made by then Deputy Commissioner Laurence Wren.
"Before doing so, it is likely that he would have
discussed the matter with other senior Gardaí and possibly
senior officials from the Department of Justice.
However, the absence of files means that this cannot be
Former Garda Commissioner Patrick Byrne was asked for his
views on the failure to question four suspects in the
killing in 1979.. In a letter to the inquiry, Mr Byrne
placed blame with the Garda Síochána for failure to pursue
information on Mr Ludlow's killing.
A sub-group of the justice committee will hold
public hearings in mid-January on the report.
The report, released under full parliamentary privilege,
states that Mr Ludlow was picked up in a car in May 1976 by
Mr Justice Barron said he had no evidence that Mr Ludlow
had any republican sympathies which might have led to him
being targeted by loyalist subversives.
Fianna Fáil TD Sean Ardagh, chairman of the
committee and the newly established sub-committee, refused
to comment on the report's content or pre-empt the
findings of the sub-committee.
Mr Ardagh said: "Committee members only received
this report at 11.30am today and have not had a chance to
consider it fully."
Mr Justice Barron said his job was made more difficult as
documents were lost, destroyed or misplaced and key
witnesses were ill, dead or unable to remember important
Additional reporting: PA