The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?




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The Irish Times, 4 November 2005:

Former senior Garda officers may be called to Oireachtas committee

Martin Wall

Former senior Garda officers named in the report on the murder of Seamus Ludlow are expected to be asked to make submissions to an oireachtas sub-committee. They may also be asked to appear before the sub-committee early next year.

Sean Ardagh, the chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights, said it would be establishing a sub-committee to commence public hearings in mid-January on the report.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday afternoon, he said that he could not comment on any issue contained in the report of Mr Justice Henry Barron in advance of the sub-committee hearings.

However, the independent TD Finian McGrath, who is a member of the sub-committee, said it would be examining whether any relevant files had gone missing.

Mr McGrath said that the sub-committee would also examine the role of senior Garda officers in relation to the failure to pursue those suspected of the murder of Seamus Ludlow.

Joe Costello of the Labour Party said that the Government had had the report of Mr Justice Barron for the last 13 months.

He said that the sub-committee would have liked to have the report at an earlier stage.

He aid that the reason for the delay was a question that should be put to the Taoiseach or Minister for Justice.

Mr Ardagh aid that the sub-committee would examine the Baron report in detail.

He said that the sub-committee had been charged by the Dail to make recommendations with regard to legislative proposals and other recommendations.

The sub-committee would consider next week who should be invited to make submissions or to atend the planned public hearings, he added.

Mr Ardagh said that the issue of sending the report to the Director of Public Prosecutions did not arise at this stage.

He said that concerns raised by the Ludlow family that they had not been informed in advance by the Government of the planned publication of the report "had been articulated by every member when we met this afternoon".

However, he said that sub-committee did not have formal responsibility for the report until 11.30am yesterday. Mr Ardagh also said that when the sub-committee members met Mr Justice Baron yesterday, the judge had not indicated that he had been obstructed in any way.

Fianna Fail TD Seamus Kirk, who represents the constituency of Co Louth, told the press conference that the Ludlow family had gone thtough hell since 1976 and that he hoped the report would bring the beginning of closure for them.



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Revised: November 29, 2005