The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?
Introduction to the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the official cover-up.
The recent Campaign for Truth and Justice.
Other Ludlow Family Sites.
The Irish Times, 6 August 1999:
inquiry likely into 1974 bombings
The commission, chaired by former Tanaiste Mr John Wilson, recommended that the Government appoint a former Supreme Court judge to inquire privately into the events surrounding the bombings which killed 33 people and injured over 400. The findings of the inquiry would be made public.
Explaining the preference for the private inquiry, Mr Wilson said "it may be quite possible that the judge will have available to him evidence and information from people who would not be prepared to give that evidence in a `circus' situation in public".
However, the groups representing the victims and relatives of the bombing have criticised the failure of the commission to recommend the immediate establishment of a public tribunal of inquiry.
The group's legal adviser, Mr Greg O'Neill, said a private inquiry led to concerns about a "cover-up" of facts surrounding the bombings and subsequent investigations. "No private inquiry has yet been established and the commission's recommendation takes the campaign for a properly constituted public inquiry a lot further down the road," he said.
The victims and relatives of bombings will decide this weekend whether or not to co-operate with the proposed inquiry.
The view that a private inquiry is preferable to a public tribunal was shared last night in official circles. One Government source said "another tribunal down at Dublin Castle" was not needed.
However, Mr Frank Massey, whose daughter, Anna, was killed in the Dublin bomb, said the relatives would have "no confidence in any private inquiry". He said he had not "expected much from Mr Wilson because he was a political appointee".
An inter-departmental committee, headed by a senior official at the Department of the Taoiseach, is expected to meet the relatives' and victims' groups next week to discuss the commission's recommendations. The Cabinet will consider the report on September 1st.
The Sinn Fein TD, Mr Caoimhghin O Caolain, said "an inquiry held in private is not acceptable". He said there was "strong evidence in the hands of the Irish Government that there was British military involvement in the bombings".
The report recommends that the inquiry judge should examine the Garda investigation files into the bombings and any relevant information should be made available to the legal representatives of the victims' and relatives' group.
The report of the Victims' Commission contains a wide range of measures to meet the need of victims of violence in Northern Ireland. It recommends a review of the criminal injuries compensation scheme along with additional compensation for past victims of violence.
This compensation would include "an acknowledgement payment" of £10,000 to each of the bereaved families of Northern violence. It is understood that this payment would be made to about 150 families in the Republic at a once-off cost of £1.5 million. A Commission spokesman said it had not costed the implementation of the report's recommendations.
An inquiry, similar to that in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, is also recommended into the unsolved murder in May 1976 of Mr Seamus Ludlow, a 49-year-old bachelor, near Thistle Cross, Co Louth, four miles north of Dundalk.
At the time the Provisional IRA in south Armagh blamed the SAS, an allegation which the British army vehemently denied. The investigation into the timber worker's death was reopened recently and the RUC has submitted a file to the North's Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Wilson said yesterday he favoured an inquiry in the Republic as "a criminal trial will not necessarily bring out the full facts of the case".
£10,000 payment to the families of those killed
Support to cover victims' medical and counselling expenses
Expansion of compensation scheme for criminal injuries
Retired judge to conduct privately an independent inquiry
Independent inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow
Review of programmes and services for dealing with stress
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