The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?




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The Irish Examiner, 8 September 2005:

A file will always remain open, say gardaí

By John Breslin

THE file on the killing of Seamus Ludlow remains open, officially. However, it is unlikely a murder committed three decades ago is top priority for detectives in the Border region. Mr Ludlow’s death in May 1976 was one of the controversial killings investigated by Mr Justice Henry Barron, also tasked with probing the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Justice Barron, whose report has not been published despite being passed to the Taoiseach in October, looked at both the murder and the subsequent investigation. A spokesman said the Taoiseach’s office is working to “bring the report to the Government in the near future.”

A garda spokesman said yesterday: “A file will always remain open. The case has not been closed but it was dealt with under the Barron inquiry.”

He said, over time, the amount of resources given over to an investigation was likely to be reduced.

Nuala O’Loan, the North’s police ombudsman, has taken an interest in the case. She met with the family, was given documents by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and accessed some garda material.

A spokesman for her office said: “We would have some areas of concern about the murder investigation. However, we took the view that an investigation, particularly an investigation into the focus of the Ludlow family concerns, were outside our jurisdiction. We would have to begin by focusing on matters in the Republic.”

Two men, Paul Hosking and James Fitzsimons, a former UDR member, who admit they were present when Mr Ludlow was shot dead and who gave written statements to the then RUC in 1998, believed they would be charged in connection with either the murder conspiracy or withholding information. They were surprised when no charges were brought.

Samuel ‘Mambo’ Carroll, the man suspected of carrying out the shooting, has publicly denied being involved. Carroll, who admits he had connections with loyalist paramilitaries, has also publicly agreed he was a suspect in the 1976 murder of Sinn Féin president Marie Drumm.

The fourth suspect is Richard Long, a former UDR man who later served time in connection with the death of a man in Comber, north Down. 


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