The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry? 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, 17 April 2001

RUC 'must be investigated'

By Aeneas Bonner

RELATIVES of a Co Louth man murdered by loyalists in 1976 have asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate the RUC's handling of the case.

The family of Seamus Ludlow has been involved in a long campaign to uncover the truth behind the killing, amid allegations of a cover-up by security forces on both sides of the border.

Mr Ludlow's nephew Michael Donegan confirmed yesterday that they had contacted the north's Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, to investigate the RUC's handling of the case.

He said they had toyed with the idea for some time, but were persuaded of her office's 'teeth' following recent arrests in relation to the Robert Hamill case.

"We thought we should maybe give them a chance, because basically everyone else we have tried has failed," he said.

Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker, was found shot and dumped in a laneway near his border home in May 1976. The murder was initially blamed by Gardai on the IRA, but evidence mounted over the years to implicate a unit
of UDR and Red Hand Commando members.

It also includes claims that one suspect gave information about the killing to an RUC detective more than 10 years ago, but was told "Forget it, it's political".

Four men were arrested in relation to the case in 1998, but the northern DPP did not proceed with charges.

A new private inquiry was announced by the Irish government, but has been delayed by the retirement of the judge appointed to lead it.

The Ludlow family have insisted that only a full public inquiry, north and south, will suffice.

They argue that the case for a public inquiry is not substantially different to that of Pat Finucane, which the Irish government supports.

Solicitors have now asked Ms O'Loan to investigate what information the RUC held, and when.

"We are assuming the RUC had a file as far back as 1979, but why did they not do anything about it?" Mr Donegan said.

"Also, what was the contact between the RUC and the Gardai, and the process by which both forces decided to do nothing? Certainly the result was that both forces collaborated knowingly or unknowingly in protecting killers, and we want to know why."

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