Pictured above is Seamus Ludlow, aged 47 years, a Catholic
resident of Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, north of Dundalk, in County Louth,
Seamus was abducted and murdered by British Army Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
"soldiers" and Red Hand Commando gunmen from North Down as he walked
home from a Dundalk public house, south of the Irish border, around midnight on 1st/2nd May 1976.
The innocent victim of sectarian killers was later smeared by
the authorities who spent more than twenty years concealing and protecting the
identity of the Loyalist murderers.
The killers who were known to the Gardai and the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) in 1979,
if not before, were never brought to justice. They were briefly arrested in
February 1998, but they were released without charge, pending the Northern
Ireland DPP's consideration of an RUC investigation file. On 15 October 1999 the
Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) office informed the Ludlow family that none of the four prime suspects
were to be charged, even though two of them had signed statements while in RUC
custody - and one of them has taken his story to the press.
Louth County Council
Supports The Ludlow Family.
Featured below is a report from the local Dundalk Democrat
newspaper, 25 December 1999, which records a recent meeting for the family of
Seamus Ludlow with the members of Louth County Council, at the County Hall,
Dundalk. The Louth County Council gave its support to the Ludlow family's demand
for a public, rather than a private, inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
The Ludlow family appreciates this support from the local elected body.
Foremost among the Ludlow family's supporters was Councillor Miceal
O'Donnell, who sadly passed away on 11 August 2000.
Support From County Council For Public Enquiry
Into Ludlow Murder
Louth County Council unanimously supported the motion calling
for an independent public enquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow, while the
Irish Government were attacked by some member () a "possible collusion and
cover-up" at Monday's meeting in the County Hall, Dundalk, writes Brenda
The Cllrs. also called for the murder of the Mountpleasant
man, in May, 1976, at Thistlecross, to be brought to the attention of the
General Council of County Councils while local T.D.'s will be asked to lobby for
a Public Enquiry.
Cllrs. attacked the Government's decision recently to pursue a
private enquiry, with the findings to be made public at a later stage.
The deputation on behalf of the family of the late Mr. Ludlow
was led by his nephew Mr. Jimmy Sharkey, who criticised the Irish Government's
handling of the matter.
Cllr. Tommy Reilly put forward the motion, which was seconded
by Cllr.. Michael O'Donnell.
Mr. Sharkey said the Irish Government were "dragging
their heels" on the issue.
"Is there a possible collusion and a cover-up," he
asked. "My family feels this".
Mr. Sharkey also attacked the Irish Government for operating
what he claimed was a "double standard" when it came to public
enquiries. He mentioned the Irish government's call for a public enquiry into
Bloody Sunday and the Rosemary Nelson death.
"Why call for a public enquiry in these cases and a
private one here in ours?", added Mr. Sharkey.
"It is very important for us that we get the truth",
he said, "we are looking for the truth. for a long time we have been
treated like dirt."
"We got no help from the Government or the gardai. Only
the family worked very hard on this. After twenty-three years it is not a lot to
Mr. Sharkey also attacked the gardai saying "We were
misled by them for twenty-three years."
"Kevin Ludlow, brother of Seamus, was assured he would be
told who did the murder. There was so many lies told. It was probably due to the
political climate at the time. Other people who had people killed down here were
told lies. We must move on and not dwell on the past too much."
Mr. Sharkey stressed that, after twenty-three years, it was
very important that they would receive a fair hearing from the Irish government.
He explained how on 29th September this year the Taoiseach
during the Dail questions time said there would be a private enquiry into the
murder but the findings would not be published. The reason given that the D.P.P.
in the north had not made a decision on whether to prosecute four men alleged to
have committed the murder. On 15th October the D.P.P. made a decision not to
"For these years we have been very badly treated by the
state", he continued: "as far back as 1979 the gardai had a list of
four suspects and we have been told during the years of other people who were
involved and even given their names."
Mr. Sharkey stated they felt the family would not get justice
in Northern Ireland as he claimed the D.P.P. there had a "bad track
Their meeting on 8th December with the Minister for Justice
was Hostile". "The Minister did not want to do business with us",
said Mr. Sharkey "he was very cold with us. This has affected Kevin
(Ludlow) badly. He has taken it worse than anyone else."
Cllr. Reilly called the proposed enquiry "another
white-wash". "It is sad that after these years the family are still
looking for justice", he said. The Cllr. could not see why extradition
proceedings could not be served on the suspects involved.
"I can't think why some people would have taken this
unfortunate man at the side of the road, just taken him and shot him. You
couldn't do this this to a dog", he said. "For too long as it has been
the policy of the British Government that we are being used for target practice
or something else".
Not Garda Bashing
Cllr. Michael 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
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",
Cllr Arthur Morgan queried if the gardai involved were still
dispensing "injustice", or if retired, would they have some sanctions
taken away such as their pensions?
Cllr. Frank Godfrey said there were still many questions
unanswered like in the case of the Dundalk and Dublin bombings. "The people
of County Louth will not be happy until this Ludlow murder is resolved", he
The Cllr. suggested sending a deputation to the Minister for
Justice on behalf of the families and that they should consider taking the
matter to the European Court.
Cllrs. Nicky McCabe, Terry Brennan, Mary Grehan, Sean Collins,
Jim D'Arcy and Patsy Kirwin also called for a Public Enquiry.
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