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, 21 March 2003:


Loyalist murder inquiry call renewed


By Valerie Robinson
The family of forestry worker Seamus Ludlow has renewed its call for a public inquiry into his murder in 1976. 

Mr Ludlow, who was shot dead by a loyalist gang on the border after leaving a Dundalk pub, is currently the subject of a private inquiry and an inquest.

 Relatives of the 47-year-old bachelor believe that he was targeted by a gang of four loyalists, two of them members of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

 The family last week received a copy of the original garda file on the shooting from Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire, who is due to conduct an inquest into the killing later this year.

 But the murder victim's nephews Michael Donegan and Jimmy Sharkey last night expressed disappointment with the contents of the file.

 Both men, who have led the campaign for a public inquiry into the murder, claimed that sections of the file were "barely legible" because of frequent photocopying.

 They also said that the files contained little new information that could lead to the conviction of their uncle's killers.

 "The file is full of contradictions and half-truths. It is very unsatisfactory and disappointing for the family because we still feel that we are being kept in the dark. We want to know exactly what happened, why the garda investigation was abandoned after just 19 days and who ordered it to be abandoned.," Mr Donegan said.

 He also said he believed the coroner's work would not be complete without the original RUC file, Mr Ludlow's clothing and the bullets used.

 It has emerged in recent years that the RUC knew the possible identity of the killers but kept the information from investigating gardai until 1979.

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Press Reports

The Argus, 27 August 1976: Inquest hears of North Louth shooting

Monaghan County of Intrigue (1979) by the late Michael Cunningham: Quoting from Mr. Cunningham's account of his private investigation of Seamus Ludlow's murder. 

The Argus, special report 30 August 1985: On May 1st 1974, a forestry worker left his home to go for a drink: the following day his bullet riddled body was found. Nine years later we ask: WHO KILLED SEAMUS LUDLOW?

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

The Irish News, 19 July 2002: Family welcome inquest 26 years after murder

The Irish Times, 19 July 2002: New inquest ordered into Louth man's death

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

The Irish Examiner Online - Breaking News, 29 July 2002: Call for public inquiry into 1976 murder

The Irish News 5 March 2003: Family's wait for murder file over

The Dundalk Democrat, 8 March 2003: Ludlow murder: files to be made available


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Revised: March 21, 2003 .