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




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The Irish News, 6 September 2005:

Gardai 'had details' about Ludlow case

By Louise Hogan

Gardai failed to act after being told that four members of the UDA were suspected of murdering Co Louth man Seamus Ludlow in 1976, a fresh inquest has heard.

Retired Garda John Courtney yesterday told the inquest that RUC officers gave him the names and addresses of the four suspects in February 1979 during a trip to Northern Ireland.

No-one has ever been charged with the murder of Mr Ludlow, shot dead after he left a pub in Dundalk to walk the four miles to his home.

After passing information on the murder suspects to his superintendent to be forwarded to Garda headquarters, Mr Courtney said no further investigation of the men was made.

Mr Courtney was a detective inspector at the time of Mr Ludlow's death.

Of his 1979 trip to the north he said: "The detective sergeant and detective constable said they might be able to help me with the murder. They gave me details on how it happened and the names of the persons involved."

He said the names of the suspects matched up with information being gathered in Dundalk.

Mr Ludlow was last seen alive by jockey Cecil Mahon walking over the Newry Road bridge outside Dundalk at about midnight on May 1 1976.

At 3pm the following day his fully-clothed body was found dumped over a ditch at Culfore, Mountpleasant, not far from his home at Thistlecross.

Mr Courtney said he was given details about Mr Ludlow's death including that he had been walking along the Newry road from Dundalk when he was picked up by the men in a car.

The retired garda said he was annoyed that no directions to question the men were ever given.

"From descriptions given to me it would appear they were the people involved," he told the inquest.

The Ludlow family's barrister said that for almost 20 years Mr Ludlow's relations had suffered from rumours that he had been killed by the IRA.

But Mr Courtney said IRA involvement had been discounted "during the early course of the investigation".

Louth county coroner Dr Ronan Maguire said the inquest had been reopened yesterday on the directions of the Attorney General.

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See also:

Ulster Television online report, 5 September 2005: Inquest into death of Seamus Ludlow

RTE News online report, 5 September 2005 17:19: Second inquest into Louth murder

The Irish News, 6 September 2005: Gardai 'had details' about Ludlow case

The Irish Daily Star, 6 September 2005: 'Gardai did not follow up on murder details'

The Irish Sun, 6 September 2005: Murder suspect list 'was ignored'

The Irish Examiner, 6 September 2005: Garda HQ 'suppressed murder probe'

The Irish Independent, 6 September 2005: Garda chiefs 'sat on murder report'

The Belfast Telegraph, 6 September 2005: Garda 'quashed' probe into UDA link to murder

RTE News online, 6 September 2005 22:08: Unlawful killing verdict at Ludlow inquest

The Irish News, 7 September 2005: 'Gardai evidence strengthens case for public inquiry'

The Irish Daily Star, 7 September 2005: 'UDA' Murder Probe Call

The Dundalk Democrat, 7 September 2005: Seamus Ludlow murder is now officially an unlawful killing

Daily Ireland, 7 September 2005: Call for public inquiry

The Belfast Telegraph, 7 September 2005: Probe call into 1976 murder

The Irish Independent, 7 September 2005: Ludlow family renew plea for murder inquiry

The Irish Times, 7 September 2005: Inquest told of statements admitting part in killing

The Irish Sun, 7 September 2005: 'Loyalist kill was random'

The Irish Examiner, 8 September 2005: A file will always remain open, say gardaí

The Irish News, 8 September 2005: O'Loan had concerns over Ludlow probe

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Revised: October 08, 2005 .