The Murder of Seamus Ludlow in County Louth, May 1976. Towards a public inquiry?







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 Times, 10 May 2002:

IRA killing haunts Sinn Fein poll campaign

THE family of an Irish farmer murdered by the IRA have broken a ten-year silence to denounce Sinn Fein one week before a former republican prisoner is expected to win a seat in their constituency in the Irish general election.

Eugene Oliver, who was 13 when his father, Tom, was abducted, tortured and shot as an alleged informer in July 1991, called on Sinn Fein yesterday to answer questions about the killing and to admit that it should never have taken place.

His challenge to Arthur Morgan, the Sinn Fein candidate for Co Louth, threatened to overshadow a poll in the Dundalk-based Argus newspaper, which predicted that Mr Morgan would be elected comfortably to the constituency in next Friday’s election.

With Sinn Fein scenting the possibility of at least four seats, giving them an outside chance of a role in the Irish Republic’s next coalition government, the reminder of Mr Oliver’s controversial murder has the potential to cause serious trouble for Mr Morgan.

It is nearly 11 years since Mr Oliver was killed but his murder continues to generate strong emotions in Co Louth, traditionally a hotbed of extreme Irish republicanism.

The community was shocked when the popular father of seven was abducted and questioned about information that he had allegedly passed to Irish police. He was given a beating so severe that a priest who saw his bloodied corpse believed that concrete blocks had been dropped on every bone in his body.

Mr Oliver was stripped, dressed in standard IRA execution costume — a boiler-suit — and shot six times in the head before being dumped over the border in South Armagh.

The murder provoked a wave of revulsion in Co Louth and in the isolated Cooley peninsula where Mr Oliver’s friends and neighbours dismissed claims that he was an informer. They said thay he had been killed because he had complained about the IRA stashing weapons in a field he rented.

For years, farmers in Cooley had silently tolerated the IRA’s use of their land as a sanctuary to hide weapons and equipment.

In a letter to the Argus newspaper, Eugene Oliver contrasted Sinn Fein’s silence over his father’s murder with its demands for a public inquiry into the 1976 shooting of Seamus Ludlow, another local man, whose killers are alleged to have included a loyalist double agent.

“With the general election on top of us, it is time to ask Sinn Fein candidate Arthur Morgan a number of questions,” Mr Oliver said. “For the past few years, Sinn Fein has been campaigning for a judicial inquiry into the brutal murder of a local man, Seamus Ludlow. Arthur Morgan is rightly encouraging people to assist in every possible way to bring Seamus Ludlow’s killers to justice.”

He added: “What does Mr Morgan, as the Sinn Fein candidate, have to say about another cowardly, local, brutal, kidnapping and murder — that of my father, Tom Oliver? “What is the difference between the murders of Seamus Ludlow and Tom Oliver? “Sinn Fein recently celebrated 30 years of the ‘greatest guerrilla army in the world’ and presented distinguished service awards to the families of volunteers who died.

“Does Arthur Morgan have anything to say to my mother, my six sisters and myself who were widowed and left fatherless by that brave army?” Mr Morgan, who spent seven years in the Maze Prison at the height of the Troubles, said yesterday that Mr Oliver’s death was a “matter of deep regret” but refused to accept that there were still questions to be answered about the murder.

He is expected to poll 15 per cent of the vote in the constituency, according to a poll conducted for the Argus, giving him the second of four local seats and securing an unexpected success for Sinn Fein.

He is expected to join at least three other Sinn Fein deputies in the Irish Parliament, including Martin Ferris, a convicted IRA gun runner who is expected to be elected in North Kerry.

“In relation to Seamus Ludlow, who was murdered by Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers on May 1, 1976, we have supported a public inquiry into this case as there are many questions that remain unanswered,” Mr Morgan said.

“This is not the case with Tom Oliver. The IRA admitted that they killed him and their reasons why.”

One of those originally questioned in connection with Mr Oliver’s murder was Michael McDonald, also from the Cooley peninsula.

He was one of three members of the Real IRA each sentenced to 30 years in prison this week after admitting to travelling to Slovakia in an attempt to obtain detonators, rocket-propelled grenades, handguns, rifles and a guided missile.

The Argus, 10 May 2002: Oliver family now seeking answers from SF candidate

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Last Edited : 10 May 2002

Copyright © 2002 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 10, 2002 .