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, 19 July 2002: 

Family welcome inquest 26 years after murder

By Valerie Robinson

At a Glance...

A new inquest has been ordered into the murder of Co Louth man Seamus Ludlow, believed to have been killed by the Red Hand commando in 1976

The Republic's attorney general has ordered a new inquest into the death of Co Louth man Seamus Ludlow who was killed by loyalists 26 years ago.

Attorney General Rory Brady informed Mr Ludlow's relatives this month that a fresh inquest would be held into the death of the catholic forestry worker whose body was found on a country lane on May 2 1976.

An official from the attorney general's office in Dublin wrote to the family's legal representative on July 3 confirming that Mr Brady had directed the coroner for Co Louth, Ronan Maguire to hold an inquest into the death of Mr Ludlow.

A government spokesman said that no date or other details had yet been finalised for the inquest.

The family's solicitor had written to the new attorney general in May asking him to exercise his powers under section 24(1) of the Coroners Act 1962 to order a second inquest.

Mr Ludlow's nephew Jimmy Sharkey, who was 21 when his uncle was killed, last night said that the family saw the inquest as a "stepping stone" to a full public inquiry in the future.

"It's fantastic news that we've gotten this inquest. We hope that a lot of stuff will come out into the open, particularly the forensics and ballistics findings from the time", he said.

Mr Ludlow's relatives are unhappy that the first inquest took place in their absence after the the gardai neglected to inform them that it had been scheduled for August 19 1976.

They also allege that security forces on both sides of the border worked together to shield the killers, one of whom they suspect of being an agent.

"There have been two failed garda inquiries in 1976 and 1998 and nothing was done. The next step is the inquest and hopefully that will put the murder into the public arena again and will lead to an independent public inquiry."

Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old bachelor, was abducted on his way home from a night out by a loyalist gang and shot three times before being dumped in a laneway north of Dundalk.

In the early stages of their investigation, gardai blamed the Provisional IRA for the killing but emerging evidence over the years has implicated the Red Hand Commando.

Four people were arrested and questioned in 1998 in connection with the abduction and murder but no charges have ever been brought against anyone.

In February, the then attorney general Michael McDowell told relatives an inquiry into the killing would be carried out by Justice Henry Barron who is already working on an investigation into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan loyalist bomb attacks.

But the relatives, who have already spoken to the judge on several occasions since then, have claimed that only a full public inquiry would uncover the full circumstances surrounding the murder.

I Homepage I I Top I Press Coverage I I BIRW Report I I Barron Inquiry I I Terms of reference for Barron Inquiry I

The Irish Independent, 19 July 2002: Fresh inquest into death of murdered man

The Dundalk Democrat, 20 July 2002: Second inquest to be held into the death of Seamus Ludlow

Copyright 2002 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 19, 2002 .