Ireland on Sunday: 28 April 2001
By Anne Cadwallader
Murder probe review pledge
Police 'cover-up' to be investigated
VICTIM: Seamus Ludlow
THE NORTH'S police ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, has pledged to review the RUC
investigation into the murder 25 years ago of a Co. Louth man.
Seamus Ludlow (47) was shot dead by a loyalist gang which included two off-duty
Ludlow was abducted and murdered by a drunken gang of loyalists north of
Dundalk, Co. Louth, as he was walking home on May 2, 1976.
His family claims there has been a garda cover-up of the involvement of two
British soldiers in the killing.
They are also angry that a letter requesting a meeting with the Taoiseach has
not received any response, in stark contrast to the Government's treatment of
the father of mass loyalist murderer, Billy Wright, who was granted an
To mark the 25th anniversary of the murder, the family has organised a small
commemoration for today (4pm) at a memorial erected in Mr Ludlow's memory, at
the spot where his body was found near the back entrance to the
They have been given the official go-ahead for the commemoration, although it is
close to the location of the foot and mouth outbreak of two months ago.
Several hundred people are expected to gather for the memorial. Wreaths will be
laid by, amongst others, representatives of the families of the victims of the
1974 Dublin/Monaghan bombings.
Prayers will be led by Mons. Raymond Murray, the author of a book on the
undercover activities of the SAS in Ireland, and Fr Brian McCreesh. There will
also be short speeches calling for an independent public inquiry.
Mr Ludlow, a forestry worker, was hitching a lift home when he disappeared in
unexplained circumstances. For many years, the family were told the IRA had shot
him as an informer, but it now appears that this was always known
to be untrue.
It has now been established that the so-called "Red Hand Commando"
group, a small and deeply sectarian murder gang, two of whom were serving UDR
soldiers, picked him up and shot him.
The garda' knew the identities of those who had murdered Ludlow in 1979 yet the
Special Branch continued to claim that a relative had betrayed him to the IRA.
This story divided the family for 20 years, preventing them making
inquiries about the true culprits.
It is known that the RUC Special Branch also knew about the killing. When one of
those directly involved in the murder became worried and asked an RUC man for
advice some years later, he was told to forget about the case as it was
The man who shot Seamus Ludlow may have been a British double agent. This raises
questions about the possible involvement of the garda' in British undercover
activities in the Co. Louth area during the 1970s.
The Irish government has appointed a former Supreme Court judge to head a
private inquiry into the killing, along with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of
1974. This inquiry is being headed Mr Justice Barron.
The Ludlow family say this is inadequate a vehicle to discover the truth behind
all the murky circumstances.
Copyright Ireland On Sunday 2001
I I Top I I Press Coverage I