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, 29 July 2004 

Southern News

Coroner awaiting gardai findings in murder case

By Valerie Robinson

Southern Correspondent

A Coroner expects to learn 'within days' if he is to be given findings of an internal garda report on the original investigation into the 1976 murder of forestry worker Seamus Ludlow.

 Louth County coroner Ronan Maguire has revealed that he had a meeting with gardai in Dundalk last week during which he was told that the force was still deciding whether to supply him with a copy of the 1998 report.

Mr Maguire, who first announced details of his plans to reopen the Ludlow inquest two years ago, said the meeting had taken place nine days ago, after he was contacted by gardai.

The coroner, who had initially hoped to begin the inquest this month, said he had already been given extra sets of photographs from the 1976 investigation by gardai..

However, Mr Maguire added that he believed the report prepared by Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy into the original investigation would "open things up quite a lot".

 "I don't know the relevance of the report until I see it. The reality is that an inquest has to be within certain parameters, but I can look to some degree into the Garda investigation and I would like to see the (Murphy) report if I can," he said.

The coroner added that he was "genuinely expecting a communication" from the gardai within days in relation to the report.

Mr Ludlow's nephew Jimmy Sharkey, last night said that relatives believed that the report contained key information on the forestry man's murder and four men questioned in relation to the killing in 1998.

He claimed that six years ago the family had been assured by Garda chiefs that they would be given access to Mr Murphy's findings. However, they have yet to be allowed to study the report.

The document, which has never been made public despite calls from the Ludlow family and human rights groups, is believed to confirm that gardai knew the names of  (the) bachelor's suspected loyalist killers as early as 1979.

It is understood that Mr Murphy concluded that Garda headquarters had received the suspects' names from the RUC but the information was never acted upon.

Following the completion of the Murphy report four men were arrested in Northern Ireland by the RUC and a file was sent to the north's DPP but no prosecutions followed.

Seamus Ludlow, a 47-year-old bachelor, was found shot dead on a country lane north of Dundalk in May 1976. He had earlier been abducted after leaving a pub.

Relatives staged a long-running campaign for a fresh inquest after the gardai neglected to inform them that the original hearing had been scheduled for August 19 1976.

Gardai have yet to respond to an Irish News request for a comment on their delay in giving the Murphy report to Mr Maguire and the Ludlow family.

I Top I I Next I

The Dundalk Democrat, 29 May 2004: Ludlow inquest before the end of July

The Irish Sunday Mirror, 13 June 2004, Ken Murray Our Man in the House column: Why the high failure rate?

The Irish Daily Star (Northern Edition), 23 July 2004: Gardai in murder case 'cover-up' Family claims Barron probe will reveal it

 

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Revised: July 30, 2004