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, 18 September 2004:

Sister 'may die' before the truth is uncovered

Catherine Morrison,

The sister of Seamus Ludlow, a Dundalk forestry worker shot dead in 1976, has said she fears she will die before the truth about her brother's murder is revealed.

Kathleen Donegan (73), from Dromintee in south Armagh, was rushed to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry on Tuesday after she fell and broke her hip.

Since then, she has contracted several life-threatening infections. She was transferred yesterday (Friday) morning to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for surgery.

From her hospital bed, Mrs Donegan, who has two surviving sisters and a brother, told relatives she wanted to see a public inquiry into Mr Ludlow's death before she died.

"I think my mother has been through enough," her daughter Anne Murray said.

"She has had a terrible year she has been in and out of hospital for months but this week has been one of the worst times for her. She has been in a lot of pain and we just wanted to see her get the operation and get better.

"The nurses and doctors in Daisy Hill and the Royal have been brilliant, but being in hospital for so long has left her very weak and vulnerable to infection. The one thing she said to us was that she wanted to be around for the truth to come out about my Uncle Seamus's murder."

Mr Ludlow, a bachelor, was walking home from a pub outside Dundalk in May 1976 when he was bundled into a car by loyalists, two of whom are alleged to have been members of the UDR. His body was found in a laneway near his home.

He was not involved in any political activity, but in the weeks after his murder his family alleged gardai spread rumours that the IRA killed him because he was an informer.

The claim was strenuously denied by republicans and the victim's family.

Mr Justice Barron, who published a report for the Irish government into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings earlier this year, is currently examining the case. Relatives of Mr Ludlow met the former judge last month and were told that the findings would be ready by the end of September.

Michael Donegan, who has long campaigned for a public inquiry into his uncle's murder, said the family had been waiting almost 30 years for justice.

"We are still waiting for a fresh inquest to be opened in Dundalk. It was announced in July 2002 and it still hasn't opened," he said.

"We met Justice Barron just over a month ago. In fact we have seen him several times in Dundalk and Dublin.

"The family's main focus remains getting a public inquiry. I don't know if Barron is going to recommend one, or if it is even in his power to do so, but we will keep pushing for that. It has been an awful long wait and the truth is that time is running out for my mother and her siblings."


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Revised: September 24, 2004 .