Welcome to the Ludlow family's website for the Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Campaign.
Return to Print this page
A Photograph of Seamus Ludlow (47), Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, County Louth, who was abducted and murdered by UDR/Red Hand Commando on 2 May 1976.
Support from the Pat Finucane Centre and ICCL, and other groups.
Seamus Ludlow, of Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, County Louth, was an innocent Catholic victim of sectarian killers from north Down on the night of 1st and 2nd May 1976 . He was abducted while on his way home to Thistlecross after leaving a Dundalk pub around midnight. He was taken to a lane near his home and shot three times at close range before his body was dumped on a ditch.
His Loyalist/British Army killers were never brought to justice. Indeed, they were protected for more than twenty years by the Irish Gardai and the RUC, amid false claims that Seamus Ludlow was shot by the IRA because he was an informer. This memorial plaque, at the scene of the crime confronts the liars who smeared Seamus Ludlow's good name. Click on the photograph to link to a Profile written by a member of the Ludlow family.
The Ludlow family is now aware that the Gardai had a file on the prime suspects for this killing as far back as 1979, and they probably had their names very soon after the murder was committed in 1976.
Seamus Ludlow was a totally innocent man. He was not an informer. There can be no excuse for his murder and his family are demanding truthful answers to questions which will not go away. Why were these British Army/Loyalist killers in Dundalk on the night in question? Why were there no Garda checkpoints to thwart their activities? Why was the original murder investigation abandoned after only three weeks? Why was Seamus Ludlow's good name smeared?
Clearly none of this was done in the interests of Seamus Ludlow and his family. The Ludlow family today are demanding public inquiries to get at the full facts behind the official cover-up which has protected the killers for nearly 24 years. The Ludlow family has brought the circumstances of this case to the attention of several human rights bodies and people of influence on both sides of the Irish border and in Britain. The Ludlow family has been heartened by the support that it has received from Jane Winter, Director, British Irish Rights Watch in London. BIRW has written an independent Report on the murder of Seamus Ludlow which has highlighted many of the concerns being voiced by the Ludlow family.
Jane Winter of British Irish RIGHTS WATCH, London, can be seen in this photograph addressing journalists at a press conference held in Dublin, by the Ludlow family in February 1999. Click on the photograph to link to BIRW's website, where there are several references to the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice.
Further support for the Ludlow family circle's demands have been gratefully received from Mr. Paul O'Connor and his colleagues at the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry, which has featured the Seamus Ludlow case on its web site. The Pat Finucane Centre's website has been updated to feature the latest report from Ed Moloney on the decision of the Northern Ireland DPP not to prosecute any of the loyalist suspects for the murder of Seamus Ludlow. The DPP's letter to the Ludlow family, informing them of this disturbing development, can be accessed on another page.
Mr. O'Connor kindly invited members of the Ludlow family to Derry on the Bloody Sunday Commemorative weekend in 1999 so that they could tell other victims and survivors of state terrorism of their experience. The family representatives were given a warm welcome by all who were present. The family was deeply grateful to the Pat Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice (RFJ), and the Bloody Sunday relatives committee for their kindness on the day. The Ludlow family was delighted to have Paul O'Connor and Monsignor Raymond Murray of RFJ with them at their 25th anniversary commemoration on 29th April 2001.
Mr O'Connor's colleague Stuart Ross responded to the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) decision not to prosecute the four loyalist suspects for Seamus Ludlow's murder, by writing to the DPP's office. The DPP gave the family no indications for the reasons for this failure to bring prosecutions, beyond the bland statement that there "is no reasonable prospect of a conviction of any person in respect of the murder . . ". Nor did the DPP give any indication that his office would be prepared to meet with the Ludlow family to explain this further.
In a letter dated 2 November 1999, Mr Ross wrote that, as friends of the Ludlow family, the Pat Finucane Centre would like to know:
the reasons why there will be no prosecutions in this case.
whether or not you will meet with the family to explain why this is so
whether or not the file on this case has been closed.
As you are well aware, this case is a matter of serious concern for many in the nationalist community. The decision not to prosecute anyone in relation to Mr Ludlow's murder suggests that the DPP is less than willing to pursue cases when former members of the security forces are alleged to be involved.
In a reply dated 5 November 1999, A. T. G. White, Senior Assistant Director at the DPP's office, failed to give satisfactory answers to any of the above. The letter was practically identical to one previously sent to Jane Winter at British Irish Rights Watch in that it utterly failed to explain exactly why there would be no prosecutions. Nor did it give any indication as to whether or not the file has been closed. Furthermore, the letter closed with the following dismissive comment which points to the unacceptably low level of accountability enjoyed by the DPP and his decisions. The Assistant Director wrote:
"I note your request for Mr. McCarey to meet with the family to explain why there will be no prosecution. My present view is that Mr. McCarey would be unable to provide the family with any information over and above that contained in this letter."
Further support has come from the Dublin-based Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). ICCL has featured the family's demand in its newsletter ICCL News in November 1998 and it has written to the Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern TD on the Ludlow family's behalf, emphasising its demand for a full and public inquiry into all aspects of Seamus Ludlow's murder and the subsequent cover-up. Some correspondence from ICCL is featured in another page. Members of ICCL kindly assisted the family in setting up the press conference in Dublin on 18 February 1999 and they came along to show their consioderable support. The Ludlow family is grateful to Michael Farrell, Judy Walsh, and Shivaun Quinlivan for their kindness.
ICCL News has supported the Ludlow family's campaign, as this quote from its November 1998 issue demonstrates:
"ICCL supports the call for an independent inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow and its subsequent handling by the Gardai. The Ludlow family are entitled to know the truth about his murder and its apparent cover-up and it is no good having the police investigating the police. The inquiry should be completely independent and headed by a judge or a senior lawyer. Maybe that would set a precedent for other inquiries into Garda conduct instead of the ineffectual Garda Complaints Board."
The Ludlow family is delighted that ICCL continues to monitor developments in the Seamus Ludlow case. ICCL responded on the family's behalf to the decision of the Irish Victims' Commission to call for a private inquiry into both the Ludlow case and the Dublin and Monaghan case. Having welcomed the fact that the Commission had recommended judicial inquiries into both cases, Donncha O'Connell, Director, writing to An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, TD, on 8 September 1999, wrote:
"We are, however, disappointed that the Commission came out against public inquiries in both cases and we fully support the call by the relatives of Seamus Ludlow for a public inquiry. We trust that the terms of reference for such an inquiry will be drawn sufficiently widely to deal with both the murder of Seamus Ludlow and the apparent cover-up which followed his murder. The Ludlow case has become somewhat lost in all of the media attention surrounding the Dublin-Monaghan bombings but we feel that the response of the Victims Commission to that case is no less worthy of urgent attention."
This poster announcing a public meeting at Dundalk Town Hall on 18 February 1999, was distributed on behalf of the Ludlow family's campaign throughout the north Louth and south Armagh districts. The public meeting was organised for the public release of the British Irish Rights Watch report in Dundalk. Click on the poster to link to further information about the BIRW report.
Copies of the poster were taken to Pilot's Row, Derry City, by Ludlow family representatives on the Bloody Sunday Commerative Weekend, where Kevin Ludlow, Brendan Larkin and Michael Donegan attended a conference dedicated to the victims of British and Loyalist terrorism and the "right to know".
Michael Donegan addressed the assembled gathering, giving an account of the murder and the ongoing campaign to fellow relatives of victims of state terrorism, many of whom were hearing Seamus Ludlow's story for the first time. The Ludlow family established firm contacts with several families who had lost relatives in quite similar circumstances, and it was noted that there are many common thread connecting several cases on both sides of the Irish border.
The Ludlow family's experience of Gardai antagonism, heartlessness, dishonesty, obstructionism and evasiveness could be recognised in the accounts of many families who spoke of their dealings with both the RUC and the Gardai. In all cases the common factors were a nationalist victim of pro-British killers and no desire to bring the guilty to justice.
Other copies of this poster were sent to the family's fellow campaigners in the search for truth and justice, the relatives and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974.
The Ludlow family has been strongly supported by Councillor Tommy Reilly, a member of Louth County Council, who on 30 March 1998, tabled a motion calling for extradition of the loyalist suspects and for a public inquiry to "assure the General Public that the Gardai were in position to act upon the information they received in 1976 and why this information was covered up for 20 years". Mr. Reilly addressed his fellow councillors at length demanding support for the Ludlow family's campaign.
Mr. Reilly raised the issue once again on 8 December 1999, when a deputation from the Ludlow family addressed the meeting of Louth County Council and called for the Council's support for a public inquiry. This meeting, and Mr. Reilly's remarks were reported in some detail in the of 25 December 1999.
The Ludlow family has close and comradely contact with these and other groups who also have experienced injustice. The public meeting in Dundalk was attended by members of the Dublin and Monaghan Relatives' Commeittee, as well as the widow of Patrick Mohan, a man who was murdered by a Loyalist bombing of Castleblaney on 7 March 1976. Their presence at Dundalk on 18 February was deeply appreciated. Several members of the Ludlow family circle were honoured to accept an invitation to attend the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Dublin and Monaghan bombing in May 1999.
Also present on the platform were Jane Winter, Director BIRW; journalist Joe Tiernan: Mr. Micheal O'Donnell, Chairman Louth County Council; and Mr. Seamus Byrne, the Chairman of Dundalk Urban Council. Journalist Ed Moloney was also present.
Also present was Kevin Ludlow (on the platform) and his three sisters Mrs. Nan Sharkey, Mrs. Eileen Fox and Mrs. Kathleen Donegan. Other family members from all six branches of the Ludlow family were present on the platform or in the assembled gathering.
The public meeting was chaired by Monsignor Raymond Murray, Chairman of Relatives for Justice, the noted human rights activist and author of The SAS in Ireland.
Return to Top of Page
Return to Home Page.
Go to Chronology.
Go to the BIRW Report.
Go to Journalists' Revelations.
Go to Recent Developments.
Go to Border Relatives Group.
Go to Map of Seamus Ludlow's Home Area.
The Dundalk Democrat reports the publication of investigative journalist Joe Tiernan's controversial new book, The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings and the Murder Triangle
Relatives for Justice - New Site.
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Print this page
© 2003 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 16, 2003 .