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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The Irish Examiner, 6 August 1999:

Perceptions of cover up from a closed inquiry

The Examiner

RELATIVES of victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 people were killed and hundreds injured have every right to be disappointed at the recommendation of the Commission on Northern related violence that an inquiry into the atrocities be held behind closed doors.

In normal circumstances one would expect an inquiry into events which took place a quarter of a century ago to be conducted in public. That would at least go some way towards assuaging long held suspicions of a cover up over alleged involvement of elements of the Northern security forces in the bombings. Similarly, questions have been raised about the possible role of security personnel in the killing of 47 year old Seamus Ludlow whose unsolved murder is also to be the subject of an inquiry, also to be held in private.

The air of secrecy surrounding the two inquiries, announced yesterday, will only serve to fuel suspicions of a continuing cover up. In the Ludlow case, three former members of the UDR were arrested in connection with his death and a report sent to the North’s Director of Public Prosecutions. A bachelor with no paramilitary connections, he was murdered as he thumbed a lift home from Dundalk and was later found shot in the head.

If problems are posed by the security aspects of the case, surely they could be heard in camera.

In view of the fact that the Commission report published yesterday flows directly from the terms of the Good Friday peace agreement, the establishment of an a truly open forum would presumably be a pre requisite to addressing the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation. If a culture of tolerance is to be promoted, the work of the Victims Commission must be seen to be transparent.

It is entirely appropriate that the probe should be conducted by an independent figure of recognised status and authority such as a retired judge of the Supreme Court. And it is also fitting that the findings be published. But the cloak of secrecy surrounding the tragic events which happened so long ago is perplexing, unsatisfactory and unacceptable.

Undoubtedly the former Tánaiste John Wilson has gone to pains to address the suffering of the victims of violence. But the element of privacy will prove highly controversial given that relatives want a public hearing. It will endorse perceptions of a cover up. As far as they are concerned nothing short of an open inquiry will suffice.

Though the perpetrators may never be brought to book, the re examination of these forgotten massacres of recent Irish history is a vital part of the healing process.

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BBC: Thursday, 5 August, 1999  Special Report Inquiry call into 1974 loyalist atrocity

The Irish Times, 6 August 1999: Private inquiry likely into 1974 bombings Victims angry at proposal

The Irish Examiner, 6 August 1999: Perceptions of cover up from a closed inquiry

The Irish News, 7 August 1999: Ludlows call for public inquiry

The Dundalk Democrat, 7 August 1999: Ludlow murder inquiry report "A place and a name"

The Sunday Tribune, 8 August 1999: The case that is not going to go away

The Examiner, 10 August 1999: Report recommends inquiries into Ludlow murder, Dundalk bombing

An Phoblacht / Republican News, 12 August 1999: Dublin/Monaghan and Ludlow inquiries must be public Report of the Victims Commission 

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 1999: "Ludlow inquiry must be public" - says Arthur Morgan

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 1999: "Dublin/Monaghan bombings inquiry should be public" says O Caolain

The Dundalk Democrat, 21 August 1999: "A deafening silence"

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Revised: June 20, 2003 .