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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The Sunday Life, 28 July 2002:

By John Hunter

Inquest to name Ludlow killers

THE alleged Red Hand Commando killers of 1976 Dundalk murder victim Seamus Ludlow are likely to be named at a new inquest into his death.

And crucial information given to his relatives earlier this year by Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan will figure prominently in the forthcoming second inquest into the mystery murder.

No-one has yet been brought to justice for the killing.

But, earlier this month, Rory Brady, the Republic's Attorney General directed Louth County Coroner, Ronan Maguire to hold a fresh inquest.

It has since emerged that, when they raised the case with her earlier this year, Mrs O'Loan told the victims relatives that two of the murder-bullets had been sent by the Garda to the RUC in 1979.

Belfast detectives apparently wanted to find out whether the same weapon had been used in a murder in Comber, Co Down, also in 1976.

This detail further confirms the relatives' belief that Mr Ludlow was murdered by the loyalist Red Hand Commando from the Newtownards/Comber area, possibly linked to the SAS.

Originally, Seamus Ludlow was believed to have been murdered by an SAS unit, because he was said to look like a wanted IRA man.

Two weeks before, IRA man Peter Cleary had been shot dead by the SAS on the border - and four days after the Ludlow murder an eight-man SAS patrol was arrested by gardai a few miles from the murder-scene.

But four years ago, a Newtownards man claimed that he had been a passenger in the gunmen's car when they crossed the border looking for a victim, after a drinking-session.

Two of the north Down killers were in the Ulster Defence Regiment, and also in the loyalist Red Hand Commando, he said.

He witnessed the killing, but had been threatened to say nothing about it.

However, he also insisted that when questioned by the RUC Special Branch in 1987, he named the killers to them. Nothing happened, leading to the conclusion that at least one of the killers was a protected police informer.

The alleged witness, and three other men, were arrested by the RUC in 1998.

Files were sent to the DPP by police, but it was decided not to prosecute.

According to Mr Ludlow's nephew, Michael Donegan, no explanation was ever given to them, and the matter was later raised with Police Ombudsman last year.

It now appears likely that the Newtownards man, who claims to have been a passenger in the killers' car, will be asked to attend the inquest.

The second inquest into Seamus Ludlow's death is expected to be held in Dundalk by the end of this year.

I Homepage I I Top I I Press Coverage I I BIRW Report II Barron Inquiry I I Terms of reference for Barron Inquiry I I Fresh Inquest I

The Argus, 27 August 1976: Inquest hears of North Louth shooting

Monaghan County of Intrigue (1979) by the late Michael Cunningham: Quoting from Mr. Cunningham's account of his private investigation of Seamus Ludlow's murder. 

The Argus, special report 30 August 1985: On May 1st 1974, a forestry worker left his home to go for a drink: the following day his bullet riddled body was found. Nine years later we ask: WHO KILLED SEAMUS LUDLOW?

The Irish Independent, 19 July 2002: Fresh inquest into death of murdered man

The Irish News, 19 July 2002: Family welcome inquest 26 years after murder

The Irish Times, 19 July 2002: New inquest ordered into Louth man's death

The Dundalk Democrat, 20 July 2002: Second inquest to be held into the death of Seamus Ludlow

The Irish Examiner Online - Breaking News, 29 July 2002: Call for public inquiry into 1976 murder

Copyright 2002 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 30, 2002 .