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 News, 13 April 1999:

Council backs appeal plea by victim's family

By Aeneas Bonner

The family of Seamus Ludlow, murdered in Co Louth in 1976, last night won the support of Newry and Mourne council in their call for a public inquiry into his death.

The news comes as relatives await the results of a DPP investigation into the killing, and follows a public meeting in Dundalk town hall last month.

Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker, was abducted on the Newry Road outside Dundalk in May 1976, shot three times and dumped near the border at Culfore, Co Louth, within half a mile of his home.

Nephew Michael Donegan (43), who last night addressed councillors alongside Kevin Ludlow, a brother of the murdered man, said initial attempts by the Garda top blacken his uncle's name as an informer were quickly denied by the IRA.

It was not until 20 years later that explosive new information emerged about the murder, including the names of four loyalists who were allegedly responsible.

Mr Donegan said last night a public inquiry was now essential to fully investigate allegations of a 23-year "cover-up" by security forces on both sides of the border.

He believes they have been attempting to protect the identity of at least one member of the UDR involved in the killing and thereby prevent details emerging of collusion in other killings in the area in the 1970s.

No-one has ever been charged with Mr Ludlow's murder, although police files are now with the director of public prosecutions in what Mr Donegan called the "first positive step" in almost 23 years.

A recently completed inquiry by Garda chief superintendent Ted Murphy is also believed to support claims that information was suppressed, although it will not be released pending a decision of the DPP in Belfast.

Mr Donegan said the family now demands that the killers be prosecuted but that the actions of the Gardai and the RUC in their conduct of the murder investigation are also independently examined and accounted for.

"We're going to push this as far as we can to get the truth. We know who the killers are, but we want to know who covered this up and why, and that won't happen through the courts but through a public inquiry," said Mr Donegan yesterday.

"This was an innocent man, he didn't deserve to get murdered and he didn't deserve what has happened afterwards.

"We ask for the council's support for a public inquiry and for our demand to see the files in possession of the Gardai and RUC. Just because someone says we had an inquiry and nothing has emerged, why after 23 years of lies should we believe that?

"They're cheating us out of justice. We need an independent inquiry which can be properly scrutinized."

The campaign has won support from Labour MPs Tony Benn and Kevin McNamara, British Irish Rights Watch, the Pat Finucane Centre and other human rights groups.

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