The Irish Times,
27 October 2004:
Government to support inquiry into killing of Louth man
Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent
The Government will recommend that the Oireachtas holds a public inquiry into the 1976 killing of a Co Louth man, who is alleged to have been murdered by Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers and loyalist paramilitaries.
The Independent Commission of Inquiry headed by Mr Justice Henry Barron, which has previously reported on the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, submitted its report on the killing last Wednesday to the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern.
Mr Seamus Ludlow was abducted by a group of men on May 1st, 1976, shortly before midnight outside Dundalk as he thumbed a lift home from the pub. He was murdered shortly afterwards.
His family believes that he was killed by a gang of four loyalists, including two members of the UDR, and they have been campaigning for a public inquiry into his death.
He was believed to have been targeted at random by the gang who saw him hitching a lift from the outskirts of Dundalk to his home at Thistlecross, around a mile north of the town near the main road to the Border.
He was shot three times in the back of the head and his body dumped a short distance from his home. No one ever claimed responsibility.
Within days it was alleged that Mr Ludlow had been murdered by the IRA because he was an informer, though it is now generally accepted that this was not, in fact, the case.
It has been alleged that the Garda knew from 1979, if not earlier, that claims of IRA involvement were false and that information that could identify the killers was suppressed.
An inquest was held in Dundalk in August 1976, but no ballistic or forensic evidence was given. The Attorney General, Mr Rory Brady, ordered the Louth County Coroner, Mr Ronan Maguire, to hold a new inquest in July 2002.
In a statement last night, the Government said: "It is expected that the report will be considered by the Government and the Oireachtas in a process similar to that which was put in place for consideration of the Independent Commission's Report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974."
The Taoiseach expects to receive Mr Justice Barron's fourth and final report before the end of the year.
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