The Irish News, 26 April 2005:
Inquest into 1976 murder set to begin
A long-awaited second inquest into the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow near the
Co Louth border looks set to begin this summer.
Louth County coroner Ronan Maguire said yesterday that he plans to hold a
preliminary hearing next month.
It is expected that the hearing, during which he will receive submissions from
interested parties, will take place in around three weeks’ time.
Seamus Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker, was abducted and killed by
loyalist paramilitaries as he made his way home from a Dundalk pub in May
There is evidence that the gang responsible was linked to the Red Hand
Commando and also included two UDR men.
The coroner said the scope and date for the beginning of the actual inquest
would depend on the progress made at the May hearing.
He added that he had received all the material he had requested from gardai.
The coroner was first instructed to conduct the inquest by the Republic’s
attorney general Rory Brady in July 2002.
The Irish News reported last week that it was expected that a report on the
1976 murder by retired Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Henry Barron would be
published by the Irish government within weeks.
Senior government officials said Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was keen to publish
the Barron report in full. However, the government was said to be seeking
advice on the risks posed by publicly naming a number of individuals featured
in the document.
The victim’s brother, Kevin, last night said it was a “disgrace” that
six months after the taoiseach had received the Barron report it had still not
In 1999, the Republic’s commissioner on victims and former tanaiste John
Wilson recommended a judicial inquiry into the controversial death. Judge
Barron’s investigation was based on Mr Wilson’s recommendations.
It is believed that an unpublished internal report carried out by Garda chief
superintendent Ted Murphy on the original garda investigation confirmed that
detectives learned within days the identity of Mr Ludlow’s killers but
failed to act to secure their arrest.