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, August 31, 2004

Top garda's evidence sought

 

By Valerie Robinson

Southern Correspondent

A retired senior garda is to be asked to give evidence at an inquest on a report he compiled on the original Garda investigation into the 1976 murder of Louth man Seamus Ludlow.

Co Louth coroner Ronan Maguire last night (Monday) told the Irish News that he expected to receive the report by Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy within days.

Mr Maguire, who met a number of senior Dublin and Dundalk gardai about the matter earlier this month, revealed that he hoped to receive the unpublished report by the end of the week.

Seamus Ludlow (47), a forestry worker, was abducted and murdered after leaving a Dundalk pub in May 1976. His body was later recovered in an isolated laneway. He had been shot three times.

Gardai initially told Mr Ludlow's relatives that the bachelor was targeted by the IRA because he was an informer.

However, the 1998 Murphy report, prepared by Mr Murphy at the instruction of the Garda commissioner, is believed to reveal that investigators knew from an early stage that Mr Ludlow had been killed by loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr Murphy is also thought to have reported that gardai were also aware of the identity of four members of the Red Hand Commando group responsible for the murder.

His findings have never been made public, despite repeated appeals from the victim's relatives.

Mr Maguire said yesterday he had been informed by gardai that "certain names" would be deleted from his copy of the Murphy report "under Human Rights legislation", adding: "The inquest can't name anyone anyway, so that should not make any difference."

He said that while it was "very difficult" for a coroner to compel witnesses to give evidence before an inquest, he hoped Mr Murphy would attend.

Mr Maguire, who was instructed by Attorney General Rory Brady to hold the fresh inquest in July 2002, also said he was confident the hearing would take place before the end of the year.

Delays have been caused by difficulties experienced by gardai in locating some sections of the original investigation file, as well as photographs and ballistics reports. Two of the three bullets taken from Mr Ludlow's body remain missing.

"Delving into anything so old as this case is going to be like going into a maze," the coroner warned.

Seamus Ludlow's nephew, Jimmy Sharkey, last night welcomed the news that Mr Murphy may give evidence at the new inquest. Mr Sharkey said relatives who were interviewed by the senior garda in the mid-1990s had found him an "honourable man".

"I believe that he did his best. He interviewed all the families and went over the evidence with a fine tooth comb. But at the end of the day, he is a creature of the state and he may be retired, he may still feel he has the reputation of the force to uphold. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say," Mr Sharkey added.

Mr Sharkey said he also hoped that the coroner would receive Mr Murphy's report in its entirety.

During a recent meeting with Justice Henry Barron, who is currently preparing a report on the murder, Mr Ludlow's family was told that the Garda document had been broken into five sections.

I Homepage I I Top

The Dundalk Democrat, 07 August 2004: Family to see Ludlow murder file for first time

The Irish News, 7 August 2004: Barron due to publish report

The Irish Daily Star Sunday, 8 August 2004: Revealed The Shocking findings of report into killing Cover-up Seamus was shot four times in the chest . .  . now a secret report will rock Gardai as it probes the botched murder investigation 

The Argus, 13 August 2004: The families of Dundalk bomb victims stay positive about enquiry

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004: Dundalk families meet judge

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004: Bomb victims families meet Judge Barron

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004: Original inquest deemed sloppy work

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004: Upset at judge's reluctance to criticise investigation

The Irish News,  17 August 2004: 'Christmas' bombing secrets may be told

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Copyright 2004 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.

Revised: September 03, 2004 .