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.





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The Irish News, 10 March 2005:

Ludlow murder report to be published soon

The Barron report on the 1976 loyalist murder of Catholic forestry worker Seamus Ludlow is to be published “within weeks”, the Irish News has learned.

The Irish government has been considering the contents of the report since it was submitted by Mr Justice Henry Barron last year.

A government source last night said officials remained concerned about the possible repercussions of publishing certain names contained in the document.

It is understood the names include those of the chief murder suspects, investigating gardai and witnesses.

“The government must consider whether any risk would be posed to those named in the report. It is an issue of right to life. The government must consider whether people could become targets,” the source said.

However, he added that the government remained keen to “‘put as much in the report as possible”.

“In the case of the Barron reports on the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings as well as the ‘72 and ‘73 Dublin bombings, the government wanted to put as many names out there as possible.

“That’s likely to be the same attitude with the Ludlow report,” he said.

It is hoped Judge Barron’s findings could be made public by Easter.

The report will be presented to the Dail before being considered by members of the Joint committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights.

It is likely that the committee, which has already studied the Barron reports on the loyalist bomb attacks on Dublin and Monaghan during the early 1970s, will hold a series of hearings before making a number of recommendations to the government.

The names of the four men suspected of abducting and murdering Mr Ludlow as he walked home from a Dundalk pub in May 1976 have been in the public domain through media reports.

Mr Ludlow’s relatives have repeatedly called on the Irish government to set up a public inquiry to uncover the full facts surrounding the murder.

The family was disappointed after it emerged in 1999 that the Northern Ireland DPP had decided not to charge four suspects despite their arrest one year earlier.

They have continued to express concern about allegations of a cover-up involving security forces on both sides of the border to protect those involved.

Meanwhile, relatives are continuing to wait for a new inquest into Mr Ludlow’s death to be held by Louth county coroner Ronan Maguire.

In December, Mr Maguire told the Irish News that he was confident of holding a preliminary hearing into the 1976 border killing in early January.

However, it is understood that he is still awaiting further information on the case from the Gardai. The coroner has already completed his study of an internal garda report, compiled by retired Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy, into the initial murder investigation.

The Ludlow relatives have described the case as a “burning sore” which has continued to fester for three decades after the abduction and murder.

The Belfast Telegraph, 27 April 2005: Second inquest into 1976 Dundalk killing