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, 20 May 1999:

Gardai to launch probe into 1976 border killing

by Michael O'Toole

and Aeneas Bonner

The Gardai is to launch an inquiry into the 1976 murder of a Co Louth man allegedly killed by loyalist paramilitaries working as double agents for the British military.

The family of Seamus Ludlow responded cautiously to the inquiry. Nephew Michael Donegan said: "It's too early to pass judgment on any inquiry because we don't know exactly what sort of inquiry it will be.

"We welcome any development which moves us in the right direction but it's too early now to know - we are not interested in any new cover-up.

"We have been lied to for so long that we will wait for a definite announcement of a full public inquiry. We need the real truth behind the murder of this innocent man to be finally revealed," he said.

Yesterday's news follows the revelation that Garda officers were aware of the identities of four suspects in 1979, although no-one has ever been questioned.

The Garda report, which was recently submitted to the government, focuses on the handling of the case by gardai.

A Garda spokesman confirmed yesterday that the inquiry would focus on the force's handling of the case.

The Garda findings will be considered shortly by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's cabinet and a decision will be made on whether the probe should be heard in public or in camera.

Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker was shot dead after he hitched a lift in the killers' car from a Dundalk pub to his home near the border in May 1976.

Gardai initially told the victim's family that he had been killed by the IRA - a claim strenuously denied by local republicans who visited his relatives soon after the killing.

It is now believed a loyalist killer gang from the Red Hand Commando, including two serving members of the UDR, abducted him.

Campaigners claim the killers were protected because they were passing information to the RUC.

Four men were arrested last year and questioned by police, and a file has been sent to the DPP to decide whether charges should be brought.

And Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne ordered a new probe last year under the supervision of one of his top officers.

Three suspects were arrested in Co Down early last year and a fourth in England. They were all held in Castlereagh  for two days and released without charge.

News of this inquiry comes just days after relatives of those killed in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings repeated their demands for an inquiry into that atrocity which killed 33 people.

Like the Ludlow case, no-one has ever been charged.

Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain said only a full, independent inquiry would be enough in the Ludlow case.

He said: The inquiry must seek to establish if gardai knew the identity of the killers but decided not to proceed with investigations, let alone seek to secure convictions."

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