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:

Victims demand justice

by Vivion Kilfeather

“My dad was a diabetic and had to go into the chemist to get tablets. The bomb went off when he was getting into the car. Neither my mother or myself ever got a chance to say goodbye.”
Iris Boyd on the death of her father.

“I just didn’t know what hit me after it happened and couldn’t talk about it for years. All I knew what to do was work and work until I dropped.”
Tim Grace on the death of his wife.

VICTIMS of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings have reacted angrily to the failure of the Victims Commission to recommend a public inquiry into the atrocity.

They confronted the co chairman of the Victims Commission, John Wilson, yesterday, after he recommended a private inquiry into the 1974 bombings which left 33 dead and 300 people injured.

Mr Wilson staunchly defended his stance saying a public inquiry could be turned into a media circus, and some people would not be prepared to give evidence in public.

He is also recommending that a similar inquiry should be should be conducted into the case of Seamus Ludlow, 47, who was murdered while thumbing home near Dundalk in 1976.

Ludlow is known to have had no connection with paramilitary organisations and three members of the UDR have been interviewed in connection with his murder. This inquiry will also be held in private.
Mr Wilson is also recommending that each of the victims’ families should be paid £10,000.

One victim, Frank Massey of Pearse Villas, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin, practically dominated a news conference held to announce the publication of Mr Wilson’s report.

He wanted to know what the Government was afraid of in having the inquiry held in private.

“I want to know who murdered my daughter and I want to know why,” he said.

He believed the only way this could be done was to have a public inquiry. He also called for the Garda files relating to the bombing to be handed over to the judge who will head up the inquiry. Attempts to get access to these files have already failed following unsuccessful legal battles which went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Mr Massey’s daughter Anna had celebrated her 21st birthday just one week before the Dublin bombings took her life. Her father said the relatives of the victims had been treated like lepers.

Mr Wilson said he was not afraid of anybody and the judge to be appointed would decide what powers he needed to conduct the inquiry and would make a case to the Government in that regard.

A prematurely frail looking Martesa Kearney from Sutton in Co. Dublin, who received serious head and leg injuries in the Dublin bombing, also expressed dissatisfaction at the fact the inquiry was to be held in private and suggested it might be a cover up to ensure some members of the police force were not involved.

She said it was strange those who refused to pay their taxes were given a public tribunal but the ordinary citizen was deprived of securing a similar airing for their grievances.

Mr Wilson said he had the greatest confidence in the inquiry he was calling for, adding that the terms of reference were those advanced to him by the victims in Monaghan and Dublin. In addition, he said, the results of the inquiry would be published.

Mr Wilson is also recommending that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme be reviewed as regards future victims. Extra funds should also be made available to the families of those killed and to cover victims’ continuing costs arising from injuries done to them.

He also recommends the establishment of a pension for certain categories of victims

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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 .