The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?
The Sunday Mercury, 8 May 2005:
Do secret papers link this man to terrorist murder?
By Fionnuala Bourke
Leaked police documents named the man who murdered an innocent Irish Catholic nearly 30 years ago as "Mambo" - the nickname of a Midland jockey once quizzed over the killing.
And the papers claim the gunman who shot dead Seamus Ludlow in 1976 was a secret British agent who led a botched paramilitary operation.
Two of his alleged accomplices were also named as serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment.
Belfast loyalist Samuel Black Carroll, now living in Rugely, Staffordshire, was arrested over the murder in 1998 but was never charged.
Last night he denied he was involved in the killing. He said: "At no time have I ever operated as a British agent.
"The only time I've ever crossed the border into southern Ireland, where this killing took place, was to buy a few horses. I was not responsible for this murder.
"The name Mambo has been associated with this murder, not Black Caroll. I am known as Mambo, but I was not involved."
According to the leaked files, the three names were given to the Republic of Ireland's Gardai police by RUC Special Branch - but no prosecutions have ever taken place.
Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old forestry worker, from Dundalk, Republic of Ireland, was shot three times by a .38 Smith and Wesson and dumped in a ditch on his way home from a pub.
The murder of the single man with no terrorist connections, who lived with his mum and married sister and her family, provoked outrage in the border town.
Friends and relations immediately suspected undercover British forces were involved.
Now leaked papers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) headquarters in Belfast, claim Mr Ludlow was killed by a death squad following orders of the British Government.
The military documents allegedly show a four man gang was led by undercover military agent "Mambo" - Samuel Black Carroll's nickname.
They state Mambo worked for British intelligence after joining the Red Hand Commandos (RHC), an extremist terrorist group made up of Protestant hardliners, in 1972.
It has previously been claimed that the RHC was part of an undercover British unit known as the Military Reaction Force used in the early 1970s to kill Catholics, nationalists and defective British agents.
The papers claim the death squad's intended target was George Mussen - who was wanted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Army.
Now dead, he had moved to Dundalk from his home in Hilltown, County Down, after a military raid at his house.
It is believed Mussen could have been a defective British agent.
The killers allegedly travelled more than 140 miles to Dundalk from their Belfast base and back to slay Mussen.
Mambo, the leaked report says, caried the .38 Smith and Wesson from which he allegedly fired the three fatal bullets into Mr Ludlow.
It is believed the Catholic became a "target of choice" after the gang became frustrated in their failed attempts to locate Mussen. Black Caroll, now 51, was arrested for the murder in 1998 during the Stephens investigation into the death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
The inquiry related to allegations that British intelligence was running loyalist death squads through undercover agents.
Black Carroll was held for four days at Castlereagh interrogaton caentre in Northern Ireland.
Members of the Stephens team, led by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde, interviewed him but he was never prosecuted.
The former jockey had earlier been arrested for the murder of Maire Drumm, the vice president of Sinn Fein, who was killed in October 1976.
The grandmother was shot dead in bed at Belfast's Mater Hospital awaiting an eye operation.
Black Carroll disappeared during that year and his loyalist friends thought he had been killed in a road traffic accident in Guernsey.
But he later emerged from hiding.
Leaked documents claim Mambo was moved from Northern Ireland to the Midlands in 1991 during continuing investigations into military intelligence links with loyalist death squads.
The Sunday Mercury spoke to Black Carroll last year while retired Dublin judge Henry Barron reinvestigated the murder of Mr Ludlow.
At that time he denied killing the Dundalk man, but admitted his links with the Red Hand Commandos and claimed to be a close friend of Billy Wright, founder of the Loyalist Volunteer Force.
Wright was shot in the Maze by a republican gunman in 1997. His dad, David, claims his murder was set up by British intelligence.
But last night Mr Black Carroll said: "There is no evidence to connect me with the killing of Mr Ludlow. I disappeared for a while in 1976 and have proof that I was not involved.
"I spent four days being interrogated at Castlereagh for this murder and they let me go because they did not have enough information to press charges.
"I am a loyalist and have friends in the loyalist movement and I have no conscience about the deaths of IRA activists at that time.
"I am sympathetic with the families of innocent people who were caught up in the killings of those times. And at no time was I in Dundalk shooting anyone.
"It is complete fantasy to say that I was a British agent. There is lots of evidence that's available to say what my whereabouts were at that time and why it's not possible."
He added: "My life has been turned upside down by these allegations. My fiance is expecting a baby and I have to protect her and my family from these accusations.
"I am presently enjoying the fresh air of Newcastle. I have several bases and follow work and my lifestyle."
The murder of Mr Ludlow has been the subject of four separate inquiries ordered by the Irish and British Governments - but these confidential investigations have yet to reveal the truth.
Immediately after the murder, Gardai officers told relatives they suspected he had been killed by an informer.
And within hours IRA representatives visited them to say that he had not been killed by republicans.
But suspicions were further aroused a week after the killing when six SAS men were arrested nearby. This brought speculation that undercover special forces were involved.
This was later denied by the SAS.
But the unit's former deputy commander, Lt. Col. Clive Fairwaether, has reportedly previously admitted the British Army could be involved.
He said: "We had no part in the Ludlow killing. I'm not saying that others (in the British Army) were not involved. I don't know.
"There was a lot of funny things going on at that time for which the SAS has got the blame."
Mr Ludlow's family are now calling for a full public inquiry and an inquest is due to be held later this month.
Nephew Jimmy Sharkey told the Sunday Mercury: "We are determined to uncover the truth about why my uncle died.
"The only way this can be done id if a full public inquiry is held.
"We have been told the names of the killers before and want action to be taken against them."
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Relatives for Justice at http://www.relativesforjustice.com/
Pat Finucane Centre at http://www.serve.com/pfc/
British Irish Rights Watch at http://www.birw.org/
Irish Council for Civil Liberties at http://www.iccl.ie/
Celtic League at http://www.manxman.co.im/cleague/index.html
Justice for the Forgotten at http://www.dublinmonaghanbombings.org/
The Barron Report on the May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings can be downloaded in pdf format from http://www.irlgov.ie/oireachtas/Committees-29th-D%E1il/jcjedwr-debates/InterimDubMon.pdf
Barron Report: on the Dublin Bombings of 1972 and 1973, can be downloaded in pdf form from: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/committees29thdail/jcjedwr/Dublin_Barron_Rep031204.pdf
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