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,  27 October 2004:

Garda report on murder released

by Valerie Robinson

Southern Correspondent

 A Coroner will today begin studying an unpublished Garda report about the 1976 investigation into the murder Co Louth forestry worker Seamus Ludlow, right.

 Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire yesterday received the internal Garda report by retired Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy - more than two years after  he was ordered by the Republic's Attorney Genereral to reopen the inquest into Mr Ludlow's death.

 Mr Maguire revealed that he had received the long-awaited and "quite hefty" document as it emerged that a separate report about the murder, compiled by retired Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Henry Barron, is now in the possession of the Irish government.

Judge Barron, who last year compiled a report into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, presented the report to the government last week.

It will go before cabinet before being considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas prior to publication.

The Louth coroner had met with senior gardai on a number of occasions to request a copy of the Murphy report about the original garda investigation into the 1976 murder of the 47-year-old bachelor by loyalist paramilitaries.

Earlier this month, Mr Maguire told the Irish News that he was planning to take the matter to the Attorney General Rory Brady if gardai continued to fail to cooperate.

Mr Maguire has also revealed that he plans to ask Chief Supt Murphy to give evidence at the inquest about the report he completed six years ago.

He estimated that it would take him a week to  complete studying the report, describing the decision by gardai to hand it over as a "very important step forward".

Mr Ludlow's nephew, Michael Donegan, described his uncle's case as a "burning sore" which continued to fester almost 30 years after the abduction and murder.

He said relatives hoped that they would be  able to see the report in its entirety, adding: "If there were any string attached for the gardai to give it to the coroner, then that is not acceptable," Mr Donegan said.

"We want everything out in the open. If the report identifies people who did wrong or who failed to carry out their duty to bring Uncle Seamus;' killers to justice then we would want a criminal investigation.

"They were there to uphold the law and protect the innocent, but my uncle wasn't protected."

Mr Donegan welcomed the fact that the coroner had been given the document as a "big step forward".

He also paid tribute to a London-based human rights activist for her efforts to ensure that Mr Maguire received the Murphy Report.

Jane Winter, director of British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW), wrote to  the Attorney General and the Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy last week seeking their intervention in the matter.

In her letter, BIRW director Jane Winter said: "It has been an open secret for some time now that Seamus Ludlow, a wholly innocent and inoffensive man, was murdered by loyalists during a border incursion by Northern Ireland soldiers who were also paramilitaries - a matter which we would have thought would have been of utmost concern to the Irish government."

Ms Winter said the Ludlow family had been waiting an "unconscionable" 28 years for justice".


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Revised: October 28, 2004 .