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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Irish Daily Star (Northern Edition), 1 March 2004:

Ludlow nephew calls on Justice Barron to locate bullets that killed his uncle Seamus in 1976

We're more confused than ever - Family

Exclusive

By Mick Browne

Relatives of murder victim Seamus Ludlow said last night they are "more confused than ever" after learning that bullets used to kill the man have turned up - in Garda possession.

And a family spokesman has told the Irish Daily Star they now want answers from gardai over the whereabouts of his clothing and the bullets.

Their call for answers is the latest step by the family in their quest for justice in the still-unsolved 1976 murder case.

They have long believed that the killing was covered up to hide the fact that among Ludlow's loyalist killers was an agent working for Northern security forces.

Justice Henry Barron is carrying out a probe into the killing of the 47-year-old forestry worker from Mountpleasant Co. Louth who was shot dead by loyalists on May 1, 1976.

Ludlow was abducted by a four-man gang as he made his way home from a night out in nearby Dundalk.

He was shot three times and dumped in a lane close to the border.

Last week the family met with Barron to receive an update on his probe.

He told them he knew of the existence of only one bullet.

But Louth county coroner Ronan Maguire told a local reporter only days later that Gardai have confirmed to him they have the bullets used in the killing.

Gardai do have the bullets in their possession, said Maguire.

"They didn't enumerate, but they do have bullets."

And Ludlow's nephew, South Armagh man Michael Donegan said last night: "The clothes as far as we know, were never given back to the family.

Check 

"We believe the Garda held onto them.

"We have asked our solicitor to request the Garda to request the Garda to check they have them."

And he revealed the family is not alone in seeking the garments.

"The coroner in Dundalk is trying to locate his clothes - and we have also asked Justice Barron to look into their whereabouts.

"We don't know if they even still exist.

"They may have been destroyed or mislaid.

"The clothes may not have been of much use back then, as the mid-70s were primitive times in terms of evidence.

"But who knows? They may turn up something now, if the clothes were available.

"Seamus sat in the back of the car between two of the men, and hairs could have fallen on his clothing especially when they dragged him from the car after shooting him.

"That could lead to important DNA traces, even now.

"Barron more or less admitted that his clothing hasn't survived, but we've asked him to find out."

Although respectful of Barron, the family has always been sceptical whether the authorities both sides of the border would co-operate, and have long called for a public inquiry.

Donegan also confirmed Barron is still waiting to receive all the files on the Ludlow case from gardai.

The family has claimed gardai not only covered up the truth, but split the family with smears that he had been shot by relatives for being an informant.

Donegan doubts whether gardai are co-operating fully with the judge.

"I think they'll not tell him very much," he sighed.

During the three hour meeting, Barron was taken to the spot where forestry worker Ludlow was killed. 

Barron's report on the case is due later this year.

Now the case has taken a further twist, after Maguire's claim gardai had confirmed to him that bullets from the killing still existed.

Michael said: "This contradicts what Barron told us - about him knowing of only one.

"We knew three were recovered from Uncle Seamus's body but two had been sent North for forensics in the late 1970s.

Linked

"Now some seem to have reappeared.

"Can these be linked to other killings?

"Certainly, we hope his clothing may turn up in similar fashion."

Maguire is  set to hold a second inquest into Ludlow's death in the near future.

The family has now also been informed that murder scene photographs and ballistic reports, once thought lost, have been located

 

See also:

The Dundalk Democrat,11 May 1996: New information on Ludlow murder

The Sunday Tribune, 8 March 1998: Ed Moloney The  killing of Seamus Ludlow: Northern Editor reports on how the RUC covered up the part played by members of the security forces in a loyalist gang murder in County Louth in 1976.

The Sunday Life, 20 September 1998: Loyalist denies role in mystery murder 

MAGILL Ireland's Current Affairs Monthly, April 1999: Murder, Collusion & Lies

The Sunday Mercury, (English Midlands newspaper) 8 February 2004: Midland man may face 1976 murder quiz

 

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Revised: March 05, 2004 .