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.





Introduction    to the             murder of       Seamus           Ludlow and     the official     cover-up.       

Frequently asked Questions.

Brief Review.


Michael Cunningham investigation - 1978

Witness Account 1998

Ludlow Family account 1998.



The recent     Campaign       for Truth and  Justice.          

Latest Reports.

25th Anniversary.

Louth County Council Support.

BIRW Report.

BIRW Update Message.

Irish Victims Commission Report.

Hamilton - Barron  Inquiry

Ludlow family's questions for the RUC (now the PSNI)


Linda Porra's Editorial.

Jim J. Kane's letter to the N I Human Rights Commission.

Jim J. Kane's letter to the RUC

Press Release 

Ed Moloney radio Interview.

Ludlow Family Letter to Bertie Ahern 

Meeting the Police Ombudsman

A Fresh Inquest

Celtic League Support

Press Coverage.


New guestmap Guest Book

View messages from our original Guestbook

Mailing List

E-Mail Form

Tell a Friend

Search this Site.


Other          Ludlow        Family         Sites.          

First Ludlow Site

Domain Name Site

The Dundalk Bombing




Search Allof


Visitors are invited to leave messages of support on our New Guest Book 

Latest Reports - Page 5.

23 April 2001 - Ludlow family supporter Jim J. Kane, of Irish Organizations United (IOU),  issued this letter to the press in Ireland and the United States to promote the Ludlow family's upcoming 25th. anniversary commemoration. The letter also appears on IOU's website at  The Ludlow family appreciates the tremendous help that Jim, Jeannie and IOU have given them by promoting this commemoration.


Seamus Ludlow was a 47-year-old Catholic bachelor who lived at  Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Seamus was murdered on the 2nd of May 1976. He was killed for resembling another person, as local people say that the sleeves of the murdered man's coat were ripped out by those looking for a tattoo on both arms to verify that they had "gotten" the correct person, but to their dismay they indeed murdered an innocent man.
On the 25th Anniversary of the murder of Seamus Ludlow, his family, individual and group supporters are involved in a commemoration ceremony for the slain County Louth man. On April 29, 2001, the commemoration will begin at 4.00pm at the memorial at the place where the body was found, in a lane off the Bog Road, near his Thistlecross home, just north of Dundalk, and in the vicinity of the Ballymascanlan Hotel. The opening speeches will be by Ed Moloney, Kevin Ludlow, Michael Donegan and Jimmy Sharkey.  Wreaths will be laid by relatives of Dublin and Monaghan bombing, Castleblaney Bombing, Dundalk Bombing and by relatives of Seamus Ludlow. Prayers will be read by, Monsignor Raymond Murray and Fr. Brian McCreesh.

It is expected that members of other families demanding justice for the victims of the Dublin, Monaghan, and Dundalk bombings and other loyalist  murders south of the border will attend.

There will be a special anniversary Mass at the nearby Ravensdale Church at 7.00pm the next Wednesday, on the 25th anniversary precisely. Seamus is interred in the nearby Ravensdale Calvary cemetery.


Seamus lived at his life-long home with his elderly mother and his married sister and her family. Seamus worked with his brother-in-law Tommy Fox (now deceased) as a forestry worker in the vicinity of his home.  Every week when he got his wages, he dutifully handed them to his mother and she gave him back an "allowance". He was educated at the nearby old Faughart National School.

Seamus, who was ordinarily a quiet man, had a great love for children in his large family circle. Seamus Ludlow was a man with no enemies, who worked tirelessly on behalf of charitable organisations and was a friend to anybody who needed his help.

He was the man who for many years acted as Father Christmas to hundreds of young children.  He used to go from door to door in the big Marian Park estate for a number of years distributing presents on behalf of the local tenants' associates. He was always playing jokes on the children, who adored him.

Who killed Seamus and why?

Recent revelations of an RUC and Gardai cover-up dating from the 1970's show how in fact it was known all along that Seamus Ludlow was the victim of a Loyalist/British Army  murder gang. It is now known that the RUC in Belfast handed a file on the killing to the Gardai in 1979. This file contained the names of at least three of the suspects who were arrested by the RUC nearly 20 years later, in February 1998.  It has also emerged, from statements made by one of the suspects, Paul Hosking, than a 19-year-old member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), that he was questioned about the murder by the RUC Special Branch , some eleven years later in 1987.

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.

What we must ask is:

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?

We, the supporters of the family of Seamus Ludlow and the Seamus Ludlow Campaign, believe a full inquiry can be achieved.  Your assistance is needed in writing to and asking the public officials who have the power to institute such an inquiry, to begin such a proceeding immediately.  Seamus deserves to be remembered for the kind of person he truly was - a man with a family, home, community ties and love for his land. Justice for Seamus can be realized with your help.

For more information on the Seamus Ludlow Campaign, please click on the link below:


Bank of Ireland
78 Clanbrassil Street
County Louth
Account No. 70037984

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

Here is the list of newspapers and other media groups that Jim
sent the letter to.  His IOU colleague Jeannie's list follows his:

Irish Times
Irish News
Newsnow Ire
Irish Echo
Irish Post
Belfast Telegraph.
An Phoblact
BBC Online
Nat. on live Ire.
World News Ire.
Cincanati Post
Andersontown News
Dundalk Argus
Donegal News
Irish Examiner
Scranton Times, Pa
Sunday Business Post
Irish People
Irish Emigrant
Citizens Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa
Philadelphia Weekly, Phila, Pa
Philadelphia City Paper, Phila. Pa
Allentown Morning call, Allentown, Pa
Capitol Wire, Harrisburg, Pa
Pittsburg Posat Gazete, Pittsburg, Pa
Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pa
Voyer E-Group
Irish Heritage RBB

Jeannie sent the IOU letter to:

Irish-Afterdark LIst
Irishdiscussion List
Irish-American List
Washington Post
Amnesty International
Irish People
Irish Voice
Irish Abroad
The Oregonian
USA Today
Tampa Tribune
Washington Times
The Gazette, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Seattle Times
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Chronicle
San Antonio Express News
Orlando Sentinel
New Jersey Online
New York Times
Miami Herald
ABC News
Atlanta Journal
Boston Globe
Houston Chronicle
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Denver Post

I Top I

21 April 2001 - A new web page giving further details of the Ludlow family's 25th anniversary commemoration for Seamus Ludlow was placed online for the first time today by Jeannie and Jim, valued supporters from the United States, and members of the Irish Organizations United (IOU). The Ludlow family appreciates all the great work that these good friends in the United States are doing to promote this important event. This temporary page will be removed from IOU's website when the commemoration has taken place.

This new page can be found at 

I Top I

15 April 2001 - ED Moloney, writing in the Dublin Sunday Tribune newspaper, reported on the most recent development in the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice. The full report can be accessed on the Newshound website. The following extracts are of particular interest:

The family of Seamus Ludlow, the Co Louth man shot dead in controversial and possibly sinister circumstances by Loyalists twenty-five years ago, have asked the North's Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan to investigate the RUC's handling of the investigation into his death. . .

The approach to the North's Police Ombudsman comes in the wake of remarks by the RUC Chief Constable's office that could mean that an agent was involved in the affair. In a July 2000 letter to an American supporter of the family the Chief Constable's office wrote: "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."

The letter to Nuala O'Loan from the Ludlow family solicitor states: "Our clients are anxious that you would use your powers to investigate the role of the RUC in relation to the investigation of this murder. Our client's primary concern is that the guilty parties were identified at an early date but that no effective steps were taken to secure a prosecution.

"Of primary concern therefore to our clients is to establish what was known to the police authorities and when it was known. On a second level they would be anxious to know what information was communicated by the RUC to their colleagues in An Garda Siochana and when that was communicated."

See also a follow-up in The Irish News Online Edition, 17 April 2001.

I Top I

13 April 2001- In a letter to the Ludlow family's solicitor, Nuala O'Loan, the North's new Police Ombudsman, replying to the solicitor's letter of 9 April, said that "on initial examination" the Seamus Ludlow murder "is outside my remit because of the length of time that has elapsed since the murder. However, I am making preliminary enquiries about when the police investigation terminated".

However, on 4 October 2001,  the Police Ombudsman reported on the murder of Derryman Samuel Devenny, who was brutally beaten by the RUC in 1969, a full seven years before the murder of Seamus Ludlow. Mr. Devenny died three months after his cruel beating by several RUC members in his own living room. No RUC officer was ever brought to justice for this savage attack.

I Top I

30 March 2001 - The weekly local Dundalk Argus newspaper reported that the Ludlow family's 25th anniversary commemoration for Seamus Ludlow would take place on Sunday, 29th April at the monument that was erected in his memory at the laneway off the Bog Road - near his home at Thistlecross - where his body was dumped after he was murdered by Loyalists in 1976.

I Top I

3 March 2001 - The following was received from Mr. Bernard Moffatt, Secretary General, Celtic League:

Note: due to problems with the Isle of Man Data Registration authority the main Celtic league site at:


is currently down. This may be the case for sometime and indeed we may have to relocate outside the Island.

In the meantime you may wish to adjust any links on your site.

You can still get general League info at:

and news at:

At this time, the Celtic League uses all of the above web addresses. The original address is in use once more.

See also Mr. Moffatt's letter to the Ludlow family dated 9 December 2000, and his previous press release and letter of 30 October 2000.

I Top I

15 - February 2001 - The following two messages were received by the Ludlow family. The sources are no friends of the Ludlow family. They peddle lies, abuse and sectarian spitefulness that sadly reveal the depth of hatred and the fear of truth that remains rampant within loyalism in the Six Counties.

Seamus Ludlow was an innocent Catholic victim of loyalism, not an executed republican, and his death should not be traded off in arguments about RUC casualties. These correspondents have nothing useful to say about Seamus Ludlow. Instead, their vitriol says more about themselves.

Received from a James Armour, who dwells in a state of whataboutery, and for whom the splendid Red Hand Commando and UDR killers of Seamus Ludlow are not the "real enemies of Ulster":

 "What about the 302 R.U.C men and women killed by the real enemies of Ulster the I.R.A. who will weep for them and their widows and children, it will not be the pro Irish Americans who stand with the I.R.A . or your web site"

The following was submitted to our guestbook by an anonymous bigot who identifies himself only as "T", and giving a web address for a loyalist hate site, supposedly about "Ulster Culture". These filthy lies reveal the unrepentant face of a supporter of those who cruelly murdered Seamus Ludlow:

Justice came or Ludlow in 1976.  As a member of an IRA team who was crossing the border and systematically selecting Protestants and border farmers, who would not bow to the IRA will, for torture and murder whoever was responsible for his execution can rightly say - Justice caught up with him.  Irish imperialism and war crimes of severe brutality against the civilian population in the border areas of Ulster carried out from safe havens such as Louth, were no doubt a safer place, how many lives were saved by Ludlow's execution.

HomePage: UC,

Significantly, this cowardly apologist for loyalist killers does not question the basic truth of the Ludlow family's case, that Seamus Ludlow was murdered by his fellow loyalists. Indeed, the anonymous "T" appears to gloat about loyalist involvement in this foul sectarian murder.

I Top I

31 January 2001 - The following press release was issued by the Celtic League.



The Department of Justice, in Dublin, has said that the Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue, TD "hopes to put proposals to...the Irish Government as soon as possible" to end the impasse over an enquiry into the murder of Séamus Ludlow.

The Celtic League had added its voice to calls for an independent enquiry into the murder of the Co. Louth forestry worker in 1976.

Mr. Ludlow was killed in an apparently sectarian attack by a Loyalist paramilitary gang. Controversy has surrounded to brutal killing for many years and there is believed to have been knowledge of or complicity in the killing by the British Security Services.

Following requests from the Ludlow family, the Celtic League wrote to the Irish Premier, Bertie Ahern, backing calls for a public enquiry in line with their wishes. Parallel correspondence to the Northern Secretary querying the extent of British Security Services collusion prompted an ambivalent response via the RUC. 

It is hoped that the Irish government will move soon to resolve the inertia around the case.

Bernard Moffatt

Secretary General

Celtic League 


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse and monitors all military activity within these areas.

TEL (UK)01624 627128 MOBILE (UK)04624 491609

Internet site at

See also the Celtic League's message of 3 March 2000 regarding temporary change of web address.

See also Mr. Moffatt's letter to the Ludlow family dated 9 December 2000, and his previous press release and letter of 30 October 2000.

22 January 2001 - In a reply to a letter (dated 7 November 2000) from a member of the Ludlow family, Tom Owens, Book Director, Eason & Son Ltd, referring to the Ludlow family's concern over Eason's refusal to stock or distribute the book Unfinished Business State Killings and the Quest for Peace, wrote:

 "We have been bookselling for over 100 years and our reasons for not stocking titles would be either commercial or legal."

Significantly, in this brief statement Mr. Owens has not given any clear reason or justification for his company's refusal to stock Bill Rolston's recently published book. This refusal denied the Ludlow family, and many other relatives of victims of British state killers the opportunity to bring their personal accounts of tragedy to the general public notice.

(See also Ludlow family letter to Easons of 7 November 2000)

I Top

19 December 2000 - The unveiling of a memorial plaque at Dundalk's Town Hall, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dundalk bombing. The plaque is dedicated to the late Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters, the victims of the bombing of 1975. The solemn ceremony, beginning at 6.22 pm, the precise moment of the no warning Loyalist car bombing attack, was attended by several prominent members of the Ludlow family.

I Top I

9 December 2000 - The following message was received from Mr. Bernard Moffatt, Secretary General of the Celtic League. He has received a less than enlightening response from the British  Northern Ireland Office (NIO) - one that adds nothing new to that which has already been received by the Ludlow family. The Ludlow family thanks Mr. Moffatt and the Celtic League for their efforts. 

This NIO response was apparently in reply to Mr. Moffatt's press release and letter of 30 October 2000.

Says Mr. Moffatt:

The N. Ireland Office has responded following our protest to the British Prime Minister about the circumstances surrounding the death of Seamus Ludlow they say:

"I can inform you that information relating to the murder of Mr. Ludlow was passed to An Garda Siochana in 1979.

"I am advised also there is no evidence to suggest a cover-up to protect the killers took place or continues to take place. If there is any further information pertaining to the murder of Mr. Ludlow we would be keen to pursue it"

The letter is sent by the Security Policy and Operations Division NIO.


Bernard Moffatt.

Sec. Gen.

Celtic League

See also the Celtic League's press release of 31 January 2001.

I Top I

29 November 2000 - The Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. John O'Donoghue TD responded in a written answer to a question (No. 130) about the Seamus Ludlow case that was tabled by Mr. Seamus Kirk TD: "To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the timescale for completion of the inquiry into a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter."

Mr. O'Donoghue's reply to the above:

It has been indicated to solicitors acting on behalf of the person concerned that the Government is prepared to have an inquiry into the person's death along the lines of the inquiry which was established, initially under Mr. Justice Hamilton, into the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. To date that proposal has not found favour with the representatives of the relatives. In the circumstances, I am considering how best to progress the matter and I hope to put proposals to this end before Government as soon as possible.

I Top I

29 November 2000 - The national press report the passing of former Irish Chief Justice Liam Hamilton, his death caused by cancer. Only a few months previously Mr. Hamilton resigned unexpectedly, due to what were then unspecified health reasons, from his private inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. He was also expected to soon commence an inquiry into the Dundalk bombing - and there were strong indications that the Dublin government also wanted Mr. Hamilton to investigate the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow. The Ludlow family had consistently rejected this proposal in favour of a public inquiry, but this rejection was in itself no adverse criticism of Mr. Hamilton.

I Top I

18 November 2000 - In an Irish News article by journalist Sharon O'Neill, leading academic Bill Rolston hit out at major Irish book seller and distributor Easons for refusing to stock his latest book Unfinished Business: State Killings and the Quest for Truth

Photograph: This photograph of the front cover of Bill Rolston's book Unfinished Business links to the CAIN Web Service, which features extracts from the book.The book features interviews with families of several victims of state killing in Ireland - with members of the Ludlow family featured in chapter 3, where they speak out about the murder of their relative Seamus Ludlow and their campaign for truth. The Ludlow family has also spoken out about Easons' failure to stock Unfinished Business, in a letter dated 7 November 2000.

The book has been banned from the outlet's shelves since its release some four months before.

The Irish News reports:

And, according to the author, a recent plea to overturn the decision has fallen on deaf ears.

Last night Professor Rolston demanded to know why Ireland’s biggest distributor and retailer banned the publication, which is on sale in England, Germany, the United States and other prominent bookstores here.

The book focuses on 23 cases of state involvement in killings associated with the conflict here and includes harrowing stories from relatives of the Bloody Sunday dead and the sister of Portadown murder victim Robert Hamill.

Branding the ban “scandalous”, Professor Rolston said: “I’ve been in contact with Easons once since to ask them to reconsider, but as yet we have heard nothing, which is a telling sign.

“They originally expressed concern that there was a possibility of libel over the book, but it was unspecific. If I was told exactly what it was I would be more than happy to go back to relatives and try to address the issue.

“But what I want to know is why don’t they have these fears with other controversial books on Northern Ireland?”

He added: “It appears that anything that looks like it’s anti-state gets removed,” he said.

“Friends and colleagues I’ve talked to said its political, but only Eason’s can say what’s true or not.”

Eason book director Tom Owens said last night: “For commercial reasons we decided not to stock the book.”

See also the Ludlow family's letter to Easons, dated 7 November 2000, and Mr. Collins' letter to the Ludlow family, dated 22 January 20001.

I Top

7 November 2000 - In a letter to Mr. Robin Gourlay, Eason's Wholesale Books, Belfast, a member of the Ludlow family wrote:

"I am writing to enquire why Easons do not stock copies of the recently published Unfinished Business State Killings and the Quest for Peace, by Bill Rolston (Beyond the Pale, Belfast). If I am badly misinformed, could you please tell me when you expect to stock this important book.

"As a relative of the late Seamus Ludlow who was murdered near Dundalk in May 1976, and one who is quoted in this publication, I am saddened to hear that Easons has decided not to stock or distribute this book. The Ludlow family sincerely believes that the public have a right to hear the full truth about Seamus Ludlow's appalling murder and our family's demands for a public inquiry. Accordingly, Mr. Gourlay, I appeal to you to reconsider this decision."

See also Easons' reply to the above dated 22 January 20001.

I Top I

30 October 2000 - The Ludlow family is delighted to receive support from Mr. Bernard Moffatt, the distinguished Secretary General of the Celtic League organization. Mr. Moffatt has written in support of the Ludlow family's demands for a public inquiry to Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern; Irish Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue; and to British Secretary of State in Belfast Peter Mandelson. The following are the Celtic League's press release and the full text of Mr. Moffatt's letters to the above.

The Celtic League's press release:

From: Mr B Moffatt 
Date: Mon Oct 30, 2000 7:08am



The Celtic League has added its voice to calls for an independent enquiry into the murder of a Co. Louth man in 1976.

Seamus Ludlow a forestry worker was killed in an apparently sectarian attack by a Loyalist paramilitary gang. There is believed to have been knowledge of or complicity in the killing by the British Security Services.

In calls to the Irish Premier Bertie Ahern (attached) the League back calls for a public enquiry. Parallel correspondence to Northern Secretary (attached) queries if the extent of Security Services collusion was investigated by the RUC. The killers of Seamus Ludlow are apparently known to the police north and south of the border. However, as in other cases, their inertia in progressing a prosecution is unexplained.

Bernard Moffatt
Secretary General 
Celtic League 

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the
western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters and monitors all military activity within these areas

TEL (UK)01624 627128 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at

Mr. Moffatt's letter to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern:

An Taoiseach
Mr. Bertie Ahern TD
Government Buildings
Kildare Street

Dublin 2

Re. The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976

Dear Mr. Ahern,
I write with reference to the death of Seamus Ludlow who was murdered on the night of 1/2 May 1976, inside County Louth, Ireland, by members of a Loyalist murder gang believed to be acting in concert with members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

I understand that the family of Mr. Ludlow and supporters have for sometime been campaigning to achieve an open enquiry into the circumstances of his death. There have also been open and public concerns about the inability of the Police Services, north and south of the border, to bring the perpetrators of this crime to Justice.

We urge that an open and full enquiry is established into this incident. It is becoming increasingly obvious, with the passage of time, that a great number of crimes were perpetrated during this period with the active support of the British Security Services. It is therefore desirable that full and open enquiries are held into this, and other atrocities, so that the extent of this involvement can be tested.

Yours sincerely,
J B Moffatt 
Secretary General 
Celtic League 

Mr. Moffatt's letter to Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue:

The Minister for Justice
Mr. John O'Donoghue TD
Department Of Justice
72-76 St. Stephens Green
Dublin 2

Re. The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976

Dear Minister,

I draw your attention to the attached letter to Mr. Ahern which supports calls by the Ludlow family for a full public enquiry into the circumstances of the death of Mr. Ludlow and subsequent failings on the part of the police services in Northern Ireland and the Republic to bring the perpetrators to justice.

I understand that in addition to calls for an open enquiry the Ludlow family has made repeated requests for the release of a Gárda Síochána investigation report from the 1998 inquiry, headed by Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy, and other relevant files from 1976 and 1979. 

If the State is not prepared to grant the family a full and open public enquiry can all relevant documentation pertinent to the Ludlow murder enquiry be released to them so that they can seek other avenues for redress of grievance?

Yours sincerely, 
Bernard Moffatt
Secretary General 

Mr. Moffatt's letter to Mr. Peter Mandelson, British Secretary of State:

The Secretary of State for N. Ireland
Castle Buildings
N. Ireland

Re. The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976

Dear Secretary of State,

I refer you to the attached correspondence to the Irish government concerning the death of Mr. Ludlow.

Could you advise if all relevant documentation pertinent to this case has been passed by the RUC to the Gárda Síochána.

Can you further advise if enquiries by the Police authorities in Northern Ireland have considered the possible knowledge or involvement of the Security Services in this crime.

Yours sincerely
J B Moffatt 
Secretary General 
Celtic League 

See also the Northern Ireland Office's unsatisfactory reply to the above. See also the Celtic League's further press release of 31 January 2001.

  I Top I

17 October 2000 - Jimmy Sharkey, representing the family of the late Seamus Ludlow, attended the successful Dublin launch of Don Mullan's new and eagerly awaited book The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, published by Wolfhound Press, with royalties going to the Justice for the Forgotten campaign of the relatives and victims of the bombings of 17 May 1974. 

This new book is highly recommended. It highlights British security  links to the coordinated loyalist bombings which claimed 33 lives and raises searching questions surrounding the Gardai's handling of the  investigation into the "forgotten" killings and the appalling treatment of the survivors and their families down the years since then.

The Ludlow family wishes their good friend and supporter Don Mullan and their fellow campaigners for truth in the Justice for the Forgotten campaign great success with this momentous publication. 

14 October 2000 - Ludlow family member Jimmy Sharkey attended a meeting, organized by the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC), at Crossmaglen, County Armagh, with families gathered from across Ireland, all linked by the loss of loved ones to more than 30 loyalist attacks in the 1970s - with strong suspicions of British security - RUC or Army - involvement. 

The Ludlow family is not alone in accusing  RUC and the British Army elements of collusion with loyalist death squads on both sides of the border. Nor is the Ludlow family alone in demanding truth and justice for their loved ones after so many years of lies and state indifference.

Among those present were relatives of victims of up to 10 of these attacks, including those bereaved by bombings at Silverbridge, Dublin, Monaghan, Dundalk, Dungannon, and a series of shootings. At least 10 other families were supportive but were unable to attend on the day.

At the meeting, attended by some forty relatives, the Derry based Pat Finucane Centre presented dramatic new evidence of collusion in at least 80 murders. This followed the Centre's research into allegations of RUC and British Army involvement in the murderous gun and bomb attack on Donnelly's Bar, at Silverbridge, County Armagh, on 19 December 1975, which left three local people dead.

Paul O'Connor, of the Pat Finucane Centre, told relatives assembled at Crossmaglen that a senior RUC officer who was stationed in the south Armagh area at the time of these attacks had come forward and had met with the relatives of the Silverbridge victims' families on several occasions.

Paul O'Connor claimed that the as yet un-named RUC officer had confirmed the family's suspicions by saying that he believed security force members were directly involved in the attack on Donnelly's Bar, thus corroborating claims recently made by the former RUC Special Branch man John Weir, who served a prison sentence for his activities with loyalist murder gangs. 

According to the Irish News, Monday 16 October:

"It was alleged he also suggested that 'permutations of the same gang' were suspected of involvement in a series of other killings in the area during the same period. The officer has yet to confirm the allegations in public.

"The PFC followed up the claims with a "mapping exercise" - involving court appearances, news reports, and security sources - to identify possible links with other attacks. . .

"In all, it claims at least 32 attacks, involving 87 killings (including two pregnant women) may be linked. There have been no convictions in 22 of the cases."

The Ludlow family applauds the Pat Finucane Centre and the good people who had assembled to remember their dead and stand up for the justice that they have been long denied.

Please visit the Pat Finucane Centre's website for further information, including the complete text of the above quoted  Irish News coverage of the relatives' meeting at Crossmaglen and an extensive article on collusion in the south Armagh / mid Ulster area in the mid-1970's.

Attending the launch, Cavan-Monaghan TD, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, called for a cross-jurisdictional inquiry into the bombings. He also demanded inquiries into other attacks in the 26 Counties between 1972 and 1976, where there is evidence of involvement of British armed forces. He said:

The survivors and the bereaved of Dublin and Monaghan must have a full public inquiry with power to call witnesses from both sides of the border. They deserve nothing less.

Don Mullan's book raises very serious questions for successive Dublin governments and for the gardai. The full extent of their knowledge has yet to be revealed. The victims of Dublin and Monaghan, like the victims of other tragedies perpetrated or sponsored by British state forces have been consistently denied the truth.

There is also need to be public inquiries into other fatal incidents in the period 1972 to 1976. These include: the Dublin bombing of December 1972 (2 killed); the Dublin bombing of January 1973 (1 killed); the killing of John Francis Green, Castleblayney, January 1975; the Dundalk bombing of December 1975 (2 killed); the Castleblayney bombing of March 1976 (1 killed); the killing of Seamus Ludlow, Louth 1976.

In all of these cases there needs to be an investigation into the role of British forces, into the true nature of contacts between the gardai and British intelligence in that period and into the role of successive Dublin governments.

I Top I

5 October 2000 - In an oral answer to questions at Leinster House, Dublin, regarding the implementation of the Irish Victims' Commission's Report "A Place and a Name",  (14 and 140) tabled by  by Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Cavan-Monaghan, Mr. John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, said:

In May 1998 I appointed, with Government approval, the former Táiniste Mr. John Wilson to conduct a review of services and arrangements in place in this jurisdiction to meet the needs of those who had suffered as a result of violent action associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland over the past thirty years. In his report "A Place and a Name", Mr. Wilson made wide-ranging recommendations on measures to be taken to acknowledge and address the suffering of those in question.

My Department has been involved in detailed discussions with other relevant Departments and agencies in relation to the implementation of the recommendation. In some areas work has already commenced on implementation. For example, as the House will be aware, former Chief Justice Liam Hamilton was appointed to conduct inquiries into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974 and the Dundalk bombing of 1975. As the House will also be aware the Taoiseach announced yesterday that Mr. Justice Baron has agreed to take over from Mr. Hamilton, who was obliged to retire from the inquiries for health reasons. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Hamilton for his work on the inquiries.

As regards the balance of Mr. Wilson's recommendations, I am now finalising a detailed plan, based on the consultations which have taken place, and I intend to submit this to Government very shortly for approval.  

I Top I

4 October 2000 - The Irish News reports that former Irish Supreme Court judge Henry Barron has been appointed to take over the private inquiry of the ailing Liam Hamilton into the Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings atrocities.

I Top I

3 October 2000 - In a shock development it is announced that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has accepted "with regret" the resignation of former Chief Justice Liam Hamilton who had been heading a private inquiry into the 1975 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Mr. Hamilton was the sole member of the "Independent Commission of Inquiry" which has not been accepted by the Ludlow family as a proper mechanism for investigating the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the subsequent cover-up and smear campaign.

The Irish News reported that Mr. Hamilton took the decision for (at that time, unspecified) health reasons and that he was supposed to have immediate surgery and post-operative treatment. Mr. Hamilton's sudden and entirely unexpected resignation raised many questions as to the state of his private inquiry which had yet to be concluded. It remained unclear whether or not his sudden resignation would result in a further stalling of any inquiry into both the Dundalk bombing of December 1975 and the murder of Seamus Ludlow in May 1976.

Sadly, Mr. Hamilton's illness was very serious indeed, for, within a few months he had passed away on 29 November. According to reports in the national press (1 December) the retired Chief Justice had been suffering from cancer.

I Top I

11 August 2000 - The Ludlow family circle was devastated on hearing of the death, after a long illness, in Daisyhill Hospital, Newry, of Louth County Councillor Miceal O'Donnell (aged 67 years), a dear friend, good neighbour and a staunch supporter of their fight for justice. The Ludlow family has lost a valuable friend and supporter who will be dearly missed. 

The huge attendance at the Requiem Mass at Saint Brigid's Catholic Church, Kilcurry, and burial in the adjoining cemetery, gave a moving testimony of the universal popularity and respect that Miceal O'Donnel commanded from far and wide.

Living just south of the borderPhotograph: The late Miceal O'Donnell, a faithful supporter of the Ludlow family's fight for justice, who passed away after a long illness on 11 August, 2000., and a short distance from the Sharkey-Ludlow home at Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, Miceal had been a close and personal friend of the late Seamus Ludlow and other members of the family.

In his role as County Councillor, Miceal O'Donnell was always available to help the Ludlow family when asked to do so. Elected to the County Council in June 1979, Miceal, a member of Fianna Fail, held the post of Chairman twice, 1990-91 and 1998-99, and on the latter occasion he never failed to stand faithfully with the Ludlow family in their demands for truth and justice.

Speaking to the local Dundalk Democrat, 19 August 2000, Jimmy Sharkey, a nephew of Seamus Ludlow, said: 

"Miceal was a very good friend and staunch supporter of the Ludlow family. Anytime he was called on by the family to speak at the County Council, or, in the media, he would do so".

Jimmy said that over the past twenty years Miceal had held the belief that the truth into Seamus' murder would have to come out. Councillor O'Donnell went on to bring the matter to County Council level, and in his capacity as County Council Chairman, attended a special Press Conference organised by the Ludlow family in Dublin on 18 February 1999. On that occasion, Miceal willingly drove three nephews of the late Seamus Ludlow to the venue for the press conference.

Proudly wearing his chain of office as Chairman of Louth County Council, Miceal accompanied members of the Ludlow family throughout a gruelling day of engagements, culminating in a public meeting later that night at Dundalk Town Hall.

Later, in December 1999, Miceal seconded a motion at a meeting of Louth County Council, calling for an independent public inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow. Here is how his contribution was reported by the local Dundalk Democrat (Saturday , 25 December 1999):

Cllr. Miceal O'Donnell said the mentality of the seventies was still here today. He was not "garda bashing" but he wanted to get rid of the rotten apples in the barrel." These men now have pensions funded by the State. The gardai said they would represent the family and they told blatant lies. This has to be taken into account".

"A man's life was taken and the only sin was that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Ludlows must have all the information they need."

Cllr. O'Donnell said Mr. Ludlow was a neighbour of his and on the Saturday night before his murder he was sitting in his kitchen, teaching his children to play cards. "That was the simple kind of man that he was", he added.

The Ludlow family was deeply honoured to have Miceal O'Donnell's unstinting support on that occasion, and to his family they extend their deepest sympathy towards their great loss. 

A great friend and supporter of the Ludlow family is gone, and he will be dearly missed. 

Ar Dheis go raibh a Anam.


I Top I l Previous I I Next I

 I Home I I Back to Top I I Chronology I I Latest Reports Page 1 I l Latest Reports Page 2 l I Latest Reports Page 4  I I Ludlow Family Letter to Bertie Ahern I


Bank of Ireland
78 Clanbrassil Street
County Louth

Account No. 70037984 

   Thank You.     Print this page.


I Home I I Top I I First Ludlow Site I I Domain Name Site I I Questions I I Chronology I I Brief Review I I Profile I I Report I I Photographs I I Ludlow family's Letter to the RUC Chief Constable I I Latest Reports I I Hamilton Inquiry I I Contributors I I Linda Porra's Editorial I I Jim J. Kane's Letter to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission  I I Jim J. Kane's Letter to the RUC I I Press Release I I Ludlow Family Letter to Bertie Ahern I I Links I I New Guest Book  I I E-Mail Form I I  Mailing List I I Tell a Friend I    Chronology: 1 2 3 4 5 6 

Copyright © 2003 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 22, 2003 .