Reports - Page 6.
9 August 2000 - The United Nations
High Commission for Human Rights sent the following e-mail message
to Jim J. Kane, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. Jim, of Irish
Organizations United, is a valued
supporter of the Ludlow family's demands for a public inquiry into
the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
We acknowledge the receipt of
your message. Unfortunately, the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights cannot be of assistance to you in this case.
The Commission on Human Rights
does not consider individual complaint and the existing
machinery which could take it up would be barred to do so
rationae temporis. The murder was committed 24 years ago and the
procedure for dealing with individual alleged violations
of human rights was not yet into existence.
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28 July 2000 - The following letter
was received from the Taoiseach's office in Dublin.
28 July, 2000
Mr. James MacGuill
MacGuill and Company, Solicitors
Re: Seamus Ludlow Deceased
Your Ref JMG/NMG 3415
Dear Mr. MacGuill,
I have been asked by the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D. to refer
to your letters of 9 June and 18 July, 2000 about the above matter.
The Taoiseach has asked me to draw to your attention that in the
course of a reply to Parliamentary Questions on this matter on 23
May, he said
"the best way forward in my view
is for the Government to extend the remit of Mr. Hamilton to this
case on a basis broadly similar to that which applies in the case of
the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. in this regard, discussions between
Departments and offices concerned on the detailed terms of reference
are close to a conclusion, following which proposals will be put
before the Government. If approved by the Government, the proposed
terms will be the subject of consultation with Mr. Hamilton and with
the legal representatives of the victim's relatives."
The Taoiseach is conscious of the
position that you and your clients have consistently taken in favour
of the institution of an independent judicial inquiry into this
matter. However, as indicated by him in Dail Eireann, he is
convinced that the most appropriate approach is to proceed broadly
on the lines of the Commissions of Inquiry into the Dublin/Monaghan
and Dundalk bombings being conducted by the former Chief Justice,
Mr. Liam Hamilton, S.C.. Under this approach, a public judicial
inquiry is not ruled out at this stage. It would be one of a number
of options that could be considered, following on the completion of
an examination by an eminent legal person.
Nor would examination by Judge Hamilton preclude your clients
continuing, if they wished, to campaign for a public inquiry, as the
Justice for the Forgotten group continue to do in regard to the
The case of the murder of Mr. Ludlow has been dealt with in a recent
submission to the Government. it is now expected that
interdepartmental consultations on the best approach will be brought
to a conclusion soon, with a view to a further submission to an
early meeting of the Government.
pp David Feeney
Private Secretary to the Taoiseach.
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21 July 2000 - Jane Winter, the
esteemed Director of the human rights group British Irish Rights
Watch, London, wrote the following to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern urging
him once again to hold a public inquiry into the murder of Seamus
Although it has been announced that
this dreadful murder will be examined by Mr. Justice Hamilton as
part of his Commission of inquiry, you will be aware that this
decision was taken without consultation with the relatives of Seamus
Ludlow. They have always called for a public inquiry, and are not
satisfied with a Commission of inquiry, which will not enable them
or their lawyers to have direct access to primary evidence which has
been denied them for many years. There is absolutely no doubt
in my mind that they have been the victims of a cover-up, and in
refusing them the public inquiry they seek the Irish Government only
fuels public perception that cover-up took place on both sides of the border.
The Irish Government has been staunch in its support for the Bloody
Sunday relatives, the Finucane family and the Hamill family, all of
whom I know arevery grateful for you support for public inquiries in
their cases. Seamus Ludlow's relatives can only look on and wonder
why the same support is not forthcoming for them. I feel bound to
mention that when I attended a meeting between them and the Minister
for Justice I was appalled by his apparent lack of sympathy
and respect for their situation.
Some of Seamus Ludlow's relatives are getting on in years and do not
enjoy the best of health. It will be a bitter blow indeed should any
of them die before the truth about their loved one's brutal murder
I have observed on the occasions when we have met that you
personally have a burning passion for justice. Surely that passion,
and the compassion that I also know you have for the victims of the
conflict, speaks to you now. Please bring an end to this misery and
order a public inquiry into Seamus Ludlow's death.
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18 July 2000 - In
a letter to the Irish Times, Councillor Dessie Ellis (Sinn
Fein), responding to criticism of his party by Dr. Garret
Fitzgerald, formerly Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, in his
column of 8 July:
Mr. Ellis rebuked Dr. Fitzgerald for
remaining silent about "the violence - including killing
children with plastic bullets, shoot-to-kill operations and
collusion with loyalist death-squads - of British forces in the
". . . His governments failed
to properly investigate the Dublin/Monaghan bombings (the worst
atrocity of the Troubles) and the sinister killing of Seamus
Ludlow in Dundalk. Not only did he remain silent, but his
governments spent vast sums of Irish taxpayers' money in
collaborating with these forces. . .".
Councillor Ellis makes a fair point. Certainly, Fine Gael was in
government at the time of Seamus Ludlow's murder by a Red Hand
Commando and Ulster Defence Regiment murder gang in May 1976 - and
also in government on several occasions since than too, but other
parties have also held power in Dublin and they also failed "to
properly investigate" the atrocious crimes that were committed
in the Irish State by pro-British forces.
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4 July 2000 - The office of the Chief Constable,
Royal Ulster Constabulary, replied to a letter
written by Ludlow family campaign supporter and Irish
Organizations United activist Jim J. Kane,
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States. 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
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.
for Chief Constable
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26 June 2000 - The Belfast daily Irish
News newspaper featured across two pages an excerpt of the
soon-to-be-published book Unfinished Business: State Killings and
the Quest for Truth, by leading academic Bill Rolston. This new
book focuses on 23 cases of state killings associated with the
conflict in the North of Ireland. The stories, including that of
Seamus Ludlow (Chapter 3: pp 45-54), are told mostly by relatives who have campaigned over
In this Irish News feature
headlined "Robert's worth too much to let this go", Diane Hamill tells the moving story of the sectarian mob murder of
her brother Robert, in Portadown, three years ago, in plain sight of
the RUC, and of her family's campaign for justice which continues to
(See links to the Robert Hamill
campaign on the Ludlow family's Links
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June 2000 -
by Anne-Marie Eaton for the Dundalk Democrat, Jimmy Sharkey
said that the family welcomed the Taoiseach taking a stance and
calling for a public inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill during
a RTE Morning Ireland radio broadcast earlier this month.
he said, "We have never met with the Taoiseach to discuss
Seamus' murder". It was pointed out briefly that Jimmy had
a very short meeting with the Taoiseach "but as yet family
representatives have only met with Minister for Justice, Equality
and Law Reform, John O'Donoghue, which Jimmy states was not satisfactory".
Ludlow family, through their solicitor, have once again requested
a meeting with the Taoiseach and are awaiting a reply."
had met briefly with Mr. Ahern many months previously when he
was part of a Relatives for Justice delegation, and this brief
meeting seems to form the basis for the Taoiseach's repeated, and
inaccurate, claims to have discussed the case with the "Ludlow
20 June 2000
- Mr. John Bruton TD, Leader of Fine Gael, replied to an e-mail
message sent to him by Jim J. Kane, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding the Seamus Ludlow case -
you will note from the Oireachtas website (www.irlgov.ie/oireachtas/frame.htm)
that I have had exchanges with the Taoiseach regarding this
case on 8th December 1999 and on 29th September 1999.
Fine Gael supports independent private investigation into the Seamus
Ludlow case as recommended by Mr. John Wilson to the Government.
John Bruton T.D.,
Leader of Fine Gael.
Nothing here is encouraging to the
Ludlow family. Mr. Bruton fails once again to support the Ludlow
family's call for a public inquiry. To make such a call would at
least be consistent with his recent demand
a public inquiry north of the border in the Robert Hamill case.
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2000 - Reported by the Belfast Irish News was a statement released the
previous day by Justice for the Forgotten, the group representing most of
the relatives of victims, deceased and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan
bombings of 1974. The statement, backed by the Ludlow family's Jimmy Sharkey and
Kevin Ludlow, and representatives of other families affected by the murderous
bombing of Dundalk in 1975, was in response to recent statements from Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern in which he supported pleas for public inquiries in the North,
while he remained set against equally deserving demands in his own jurisdiction.
The Irish News quoted the following from the statement:
victims of unsolved murders in this state related to the Northern Ireland
conflict, we welcomed the taoiseach's recent call for an independent inquiry
into the murder of Portadown man, Robert Hamill.
also welcome his support for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and his call for
inquiries into the murders of human rights lawyers, Pat Finucane and Rosemary
Nelson," the statement read.
their calls for public inquiries into atrocities committed outside this
jurisdiction ring rather hollow when compared with their continued reluctance
to hold public inquiries in this jurisdiction into the murder of our loved
ones who died in equally tragic and controversial circumstances."
Urwin, Secretary, Justice for the Forgotten, has granted permission
for the Ludlow family to feature this press
release in its entirety on another page in this website.
links to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings campaign on the Ludlow family's Links
14 June 2000 - Publication of the
widely respected human rights organisation Amnesty
International's (AI) Annual Report 2000. The full report
can be accessed online.
This very detailed AI Report of
global human rights issues refers briefly to Irish and UK issues
including several cases of collusion between the British authorities
and Loyalist murder gangs. The Ludlow family is delighted to see
that Amnesty International has kept a close watch on developments in
the Seamus Ludlow case and that AI's representatives have expressed
strong support for the family's demands for a public inquiry.
Many issues were discussed at a
meeting in June between the Irish Minister for Justice, Mr.
John O'Donoghue, TD, and Amnesty International (AI) representatives.
According to AI's Annual Report 2000, the issues raised at this
legislation; emergency legislation; procedures to examine complaints
against the police; inquests; and inquiries into the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings and the case of Seamus Ludlow. . .
The Amnesty International Annual Report 2000
The government appointed the retiring Chief
Justice, Liam Hamilton, to carry out a private, but independent,
judicial inquiry into the bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974,
which killed 33 people and injured hundreds. Members of the Northern
Ireland security forces' intelligence units allegedly colluded with
the Ulster Volunteer Force, a Loyalist armed group, in the bombings.
The inquiry would also examine the police investigation of the
bombings, and the bombing of a pub in Dundalk in 1975. By the end of
1999, it was still not decided whether the inquiry would also
examine the killing of Seamus Ludlow in 1976, and the alleged
subsequent cover-up by both British and Irish authorities. Seamus
Ludlow was killed in Ireland, reportedly by a Northern Irish
Loyalist group, which included two soldiers.
The government stated that the inquiry's results
would be published, and that a subsequent public inquiry remained
possible. AI had called for public inquiries into these incidents.
International also highlighted the murders of human rights lawyers
Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson.
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2000 - The local Dundalk Democrat newspaper reported that the victims of
the 19 December 1975 bombing at Kay's Tavern public house, in Dundalk, have adopted a
"wait and see" approach to the private Hamilton Inquiry. James McGuill,
the solicitor for Maura McKeever and the Watters family, who both lost their
fathers in that no-warning Loyalist bomb attack, spoke to the Democrat's
Anne Campbell about the current enquiry:
the minute we have adopted a wait and see approach to the enquiry which was
announced by the department of Justice at the end of last year", said Mr.
McGuill. "We would like to see a full, open, public enquiry into the
murder of these two men", stated Maura.
present there is a private enquiry into the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings, but it
is not clear how deep the report, which is due for publication around November
of this year, will go into the facts and the responsibility for the bombing.
are definitely not ruling out going into this enquiry, but would like to see
what happens with this one first", said Mr. McGuill.
McKeever is determined as ever to bring the perpetrators of her father's
murder to justice. "We have waited a very long time just to get this
far", she said. "It's not over yet. We just keep going until there
McGuill, Maura McKeever and the Watters family are not sitting back and
waiting for things to happen. They are pushing the progress themselves. At
present, they are speaking to people who were at the scene and near the town
when the bomb went off on 19 December. They want to speak to anyone who was
injured in the explosion, or saw anything, no matter how small, in the days
and hours running up to the bombing. . .
family wishes Maura McKeever and the Watters family full success in their search
for truth and justice for the murder of their loved ones just six months before
the murder of Seamus Ludlow. Both cases point to serious questions arising from
the ease at which the Loyalist murder gangs could move freely through Dundalk at
a time of intense Loyalist violence in the North and equally intense Gardai
activity along the southern side of border.
The inability, or unwillingness, of
the Gardai to apprehend any of these Loyalist/British Army murderers, either at
that time or during the quarter century that has now passed since then, must be
examined at any public inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the Dundalk
bombing just six months before.
Rooney and Watters family's campaign for justice is now the subject of a
new website at http://www.adon89.care4free.net/dundalk_bombing/index.htm.
further information about the Dundalk bombing and the campaign for justice,
please see the Ludlow family's Links
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