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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Jim J. Kane's Letter to the RUC (now PSNI) Chief Constable.

Jim J. Kane, Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States, an activist with Irish Organizations United, is a valued supporter of the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice.

Below is the text of a letter Jim has sent to former RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan. Jim has also written to Professor Brice Dickson, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

See also the Ludlow family's own letter to the former RUC Chief Constable. (The RUC is now renamed the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and Ronnie Flanagan  has now retired from the office of Chief Constable.) Regrettably, the questions raised by the Ludlow family, and their friend Jim Kane, have not been answered by the ex-Chief Constable, who has given no response to a request for a meeting with the Ludlow family.


Subj:   Seamus Ludlow, (deceased)                                5-20-2000
Sir Ronnie Flanagan
Chief Constable
Royal Ulster Constabulary

Sir Ronnie:

I am writing in regard to a one Seamus Ludlow a 47 year old forestry worker from Mount Pleasant who was murdered on 1 May 1976 in Dundalk.

Upon reading the many reports and in corresponding  with his family members there seems to be many unanswered questions and looks of a conspiracy and many calls for a public inquiry into this case.

Demands from the Ludlow Family and from Human Rights Organizations, as well as from The Louth County Council, Sinn Fein councilor Arthur Morgan chair person, Louth Comhairle Ceanntair, TD Caoimhghin O. Caolain and British Irish Rights Watch, whom also have compiled a lengthy dossier covering The Ludlow case.

In a report given by a Mr. Paul Hosking, the fourth man in the car that tragic day, Mr. Hosking gives his report to the RUC Special Branch a full account of the murder, including the name of the person who he said did the actual shooting, and yet it was not until 1998, a year after the case was reopened that the four were arrested for this murder.  Mr. Hosking stated the murder was carried out by three (3) UDR soldiers who were also members of the Loyalist Red Hand Commandos, and he also stated in the National Press that the Garda were aware of their identities in 1979.

The  decision by the Northern Director of Public Prosecutions not to press charges over the murder brings a very strong belief by many that there has been a cover up by both the Garda and the RUC for over two decades.

In a letter dated 13 March 2000 the RT. Hon. Adam Ingram, JP Minister of State writes to a member of the Ludlow family:

I am advised that information relating to the murder of your uncle was passed by the RUC to the Garda in 1979.  The Garda requested the assistance of the RUC in 1978 which resulted in four arrests. All four were released without charge, as you know the DPP after careful consideration of the police investigation there was insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction against anyone named in the file and they therefore directed no prosecution on that case.

Sir, I would like to ask the following questions which are relevant to this case:

For eleven years the RUC Special branch had an eye witness to the murder a Mr. Paul Hosking who confessed that he gave a full account of the murder details to the RUC Special branch in 1987.

Why have Seamus Ludlow's UDR and Red Hand Commando murderers never been brought to justice even though they had been identified by the RUC and Garda more than twenty years ago?

Was one of the four Loyalists an agent for the RUC, the British Army or for M15?

Why was evidence kept secret from the Ludlow Family for more than twenty years?

Why have the results of the ballistic reports never been revealed and what of the reports about the orig. of the weapon that was used to kill Seamus?

Will the Garda and RUC ever permit the Ludlow family access to their investigation files?

Will the British and Irish authorities ever accede to the Ludlow family's demands for a full and public inquiry, where the family and its legal representatives will have the right to view files and papers, and to subpoena and question witnesses regarding the murder of Seamus and what seems to be a cover-up on both sides of the border?

Sir, I wish to thank you for taking the time to review this correspondence and also I am anxiously awaiting your reply which may help clarify the questions asked. I do appreciate all the assistance you can provide.


Jim J. Kane
Irish Organizations United
1420 N. Lincoln  Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania  18508

To Top.

Here is the full text of the RUC's reply to the above, dated 4 July 2000. While this reply does retread old ground and gives no new information regarding the RUC's investigation of the murder of Seamus Ludlow it does make a curious reference it not being "force policy to comment on matters pertaining to "Agents"." Here is the full text of the RUC's reply.

Dear Mr. Kane,

Murder of  Seamus Ludlow

I refer to your correspondence of 5 May 2000 regarding the above. 

I am advised that information relative to the murder of Mr. Ludlow was passed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary to An Garda Siochana in 1979.

I am further advised after a request from the Garda in 1998 the RUC arrested and interviewed four persons in relation to the murder. All four persons were released pending a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions. On 15 October 1999 the DPP directed "No Prosecution".

I can inform you it is not force policy to comment on matters pertaining to "Agents". Police reports to the DPP are confidential documents as are forensic/ballistic reports.

Finally, the question of whether or not a public inquiry should be held is not for the RUC to determine.

I trust this is of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

R.D. McCausland


for Chief Constable



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 Last Edited: 18 November, 2003


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