The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?
The Irish News, 7 September 2005:
'Gardai evidence strengthens case for public inquiry'
by Louise Hogan
The family of murdered Co Louth man Seamus Ludlow last night said evidence given by gardai at the inquest into the loyalist shooting strengthens their case for a public inquiry.
Retired garda John Courtney, who was part of the Garda murder squad, told the inquest that officers from the RUC gave him four names of the murder suspects, who were connected with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in February 1979.
However, after the information was passed on to Garda headquarters in Dublin, Mr Courtney said the subversive section did not issue a direction for any further investigation into the men.
"Evidence of former chief superintendent John Courtney was the first public admission that we have that the gardai had this information and never acted upon it. So I think it alone strengthens our case for a public inquiry," said Jimmy Sharkey, a nephew of Mr Ludlow, who was speaking after the inquest.
"This is the first step, we are glad that this is over, it is a chapter out of the way."
Almost 30 years after Mr Ludlow's death, the jury at the fresh inquest, which was ordered by the attorney general, passed a verdict of unlawful killing.
The Dundalk Coroner's Court heard evidence the body of the 47-year-old sawmills operator was discovered at 3.10pm on May 2 1976, with three shot wounds to the chest, dumped over a ditch at a lane at Culfore near Dundalk - around 450 yards from his home.
Retired Garda chief superintendent Ted Murphy said two of the four men named as suspects in the murder as early as 1979 gave accounts of a killing that corroborated information relating to Mr Ludlow's death during interviews with the RUC in 1998.
Mr Murphy, who was brought in by the Garda Commissioner in 1996 to review the investigation into Mr Ludlow's murder, said the men were arrested for questioning in Northern Ireland under the Prevention of Terrorism act as part of the review.
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Ludlow family supports the campaign by the Rooney and Watters families of
Dundalk for an inquiry into the murderous Dundalk Bombing of 19 December 1975
which resulted in the sectarian murder of Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters. Further
information can be accessed at their campaign
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