Welcome to the Ludlow family's website for the Seamus Ludlow Truth and Justice Campaign.
Last updated: 16/01/03 Print this page
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A photograph of Seamus Ludlow (47), Thistlecross, Mountpleasant, Dundalk, County Louth, who was abducted and murdered after leaving a Dundalk public house near his County Louth home by UDR/Red Hand Commando on 2 May 1976. The killers were never brought to justice.
The BIRW Report.
The Ludlow family is delighted to have the full support of the respected London-based human rights group British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) and its Director Jane Winter who drafted an independent Report The Death of Seamus Ludlow, on the killing of Seamus Ludlow. Jane Winter has made many representations in support of the Ludlow family's campaign to the authorities in Dublin and Belfast. She supports the Ludlow family's continuing struggle for a public inquiry in the Irish Republic and she has been critical of the Northern Ireland DPP's decision not to charge any of the four loyalist suspects.
This photograph of the memorial plaque in the lane where Seamus Ludlow's body was found, links to the website of British Irish RIGHTS WATCH. This excellent site is a useful resource for anyone interested in the Seamus Ludlow murder and many other disturbing cases.
BIRW is "a non-governmental organisation that monitors the human rights dimension of the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland. Its services are available to anyone whose human rights have been affected by the conflict, regardless of religious, political or community affiliation."
This Report was completed in time for a press conference in Dublin and a public meeting at Dundalk Town Hall. These events, which were organised by the Ludlow family, were held on 18 Februuary 1999. Among those public representatives who kindly supported the Ludlow family at the press conference in Dublin and on other occasions were: Councillor Miceal O'Donnell, then Chairman of Louth County Council: Mr. Harry Blaney TD; Mr. Seamus Kirk TD; and Caoimhghin O Caolain TD. The press conference at Buswells Hotel attracted news teams from TV3, UTV and BBC Northern Ireland, while RTE, the national broadcaster, stayed away. Indeed, RTE has to date expressed little interest in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
This local newspaper photograph of Jane Winter, with Michael Donegan, links to the text of her excellent Report on the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
The Ludlow family was delighted that Jane Winter personally came to Ireland and launch her independent Report with them. Jane Winter has been a good friend to the Ludlow family circle. Since she and BIRW first took up their case she has written numerous letters, making representations on their behalf to the authorities in in Dublin, Belfast and London.
The BIRW Report's conclusion is an excellent statement of the Ludlow family's concerns and demands and it comes from an impeccable and highly respected independemnt body, giving the Ludlow campaign an immeasurable boost. The campaign is proud to feature the following concluding passage in this page.
Seamus Ludlow's family are now calling for an independent public inquiry into the murder of their relative. They are demanding that the killers of Seamus Ludlow are caught and that the actions of the Gardai and the RUC in their conduct of the murder investigation are examined and accounted for. British Irish RIGHTS WATCH supports their call. In particular, the family want the following questions answered:
1. Why did the initial Gardai investigation into the murder
suddenly stop after three weeks?
2. Why did the British Army take such an interest in the conduct of the Gardai investigations?
3. Why were the family excluded from the inquest on 19 August 1976 and who was responsible for this exclusion?
4. Were any ballistics or forensic reports presented at the inquest?
5. Exactly what information did the Gardai hold about the murder and for how long was this information held?
6. Why was the information passed to Detective Chief Superintendent Courtney by the RUC in 1979 never acted upon?
7. Who was primarily responsible for the decision not to act upon this information?
8. Will the Gardai publicly apologise for and retract the allegations made that Seamus Ludlow was an IRA informer?
9. What are the results of the current Gardai inquiry into their original investigation of the murder and what subsequent action will be taken?
10. Exactly what information did the RUC hold about the murder and for how long was this information held?
11. Why did the RUC Special Branch
take no action following Paul Hosking's statement given in
1987 regarding the identity of the killers?
12. Were the RUC trying to protect an informer amongst the murderers of Seamus Ludlow?
13. Will charges be brought against the suspects arrested in February 1998 by the Northern Irish Director of Public Prosecutions and if so when?
14. Will the Gardai and RUC be held accountable for their actions?
To date none of these important questions have been answered!
Copies of the BIRW Report have been given to political leaders in Dublin and Belfast. Copies have also been sent to the UN Secretary General Dr. Kofi Annan and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs. Mary Robinson, though it is regretted that neither has acknowledged the family's letters. The Ludlow family has recently been informed that this is not a snub, and that Mrs. Robinson has not ignored two letters from the Ludlow family.
An official from her department at Geneva has informed the Ludlow family that Mrs. Robinson in fact has never received the family's letters, and the BIRW Report, one sent to New York and another to Geneva. It now appears that the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice has been thwarted by hidden hands intent on ensuring that the truth is not heard. Similar appeals to a number of human rights groups also went unanswered. The Ludlow family can only suspect that they too never received letters that were sent to them. A copy of the BIRW report has been received by the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament.
Copies of the British Irish Rights Watch Report have been sent to government figures in Dublin and in Belfast. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is known to have received several copies, including one from Jane Winter which was mailed on 22 February 1999 and another from Jimmy Sharkey, who represented the Ludlow family on a deputation from Relatives for Justice on 5 March 1999.
Given these facts, as well as the fact that the BIRW report into the death of Seamus Ludlow is a matter of public record, it is surprising and indeed puzzling that Mr. Bertie Ahern should deny the very existence of this important report in an answer given to TDs Brendan Howlin, Tony Gregory and Trevor Sargent on 9 November 1999. Apparently attempting to justify his government's decision on private inquiries into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the murder of Seamus Ludlow, when his government had called on the British government to hold public inquiries into Bloody Sunday and the murder of Pat Finucane, Mr. Ahern mislead his fellow deputies. He said:
"The Irish Government called for a public inquiry into Bloody Sunday after the publication of a very detailed assessment of the new material in relation to Bloody Sunday and the Widgery Tribunal. In the pat Finucane case, British Irish Rights Watch had prepared a very detailed submission on that case. In the cases of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and Seamus ludlow, no such detailed assessments have been made."
It is further disquieting that in a later answer to Mr. Tony Gregory TD Mr. Ahern has gone even further to rubbish the BIRW report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow. While Mr. Ahern now admits to the BIRW Report's existence, he believes that it is only:
"a very useful document in putting forward the case for further investigation, it is qualitatively different from the Bloody Sunday and Pat Finucane assessments which were detailed, painstakingly researched and based on a considerable body of informnation, both in the public domain and provided by confidential sources. It was on the basis of these very detailed reports that the Irish Government called for Public Inquiries in these cases."
Jane Winter continues to monitor the Ludlow family's campaign for truth and justice. She has recently been in communication with the office of the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the DPP's decision of 15 October 1999 not to prosecute any of the four loyalists who are implicated in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
This poster links to a page featuring the Ludlow family's appeal for financial and other assistance in its campaign for truth and justice.
Jane Winter flew over from London again for the Ludlow family's disastrous meeting with a hostile Minister for Justice, Mr. John O'Donoghue TD on 8 November 1999. The Ludlow family is appalled that the minister treated the whole delegation - Kevin and Agnes Ludlow, Brendan Larkin, Jimmy Sharkey, solicitor James McGuill and Jane Winter - with such discourtesy.
Given Jane Winter's keen interest in the Seamus Ludlow case, and the considerable amount of time and resources which have been put into the production of the BIRW report, it is intolerable that the authorities in Dublin should attempt to disregard BIRW's assessment of the Seamus Ludlow case.
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Launch of Joe Tiernan's book The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings and the Murder Triangle
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Revised: January 16, 2003 .