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Thursday 26 April 2018

Family demands justice for Louth worker murdered 40 years ago

Relatives of Seamus Ludlow outside Leinster House with Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins Credit: KRW Law/PA Wire
Relatives of Seamus Ludlow outside Leinster House with Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins Credit: KRW Law/PA Wire

David Young

The family of a forestry worker murdered almost 40 years ago by loyalist gunmen have taken their campaign for justice to the Dáil.

Relatives of Seamus Ludlow (47) have already launched a legal action against authorities in Northern Ireland for alleged collusion between the PSNI and four named loyalists who are believed to have been involved in the killing.

Mr Ludlow was shot dead by unionist paramilitaries near his home at Thistle Cross in Louth in May 1976 but to date no one has ever been charged in connection with his murder.

His family are demanding the Irish government establish an inquiry into his death, as recommended following a judge-led investigation a decade ago.

Relatives highlighted their campaign to Fianna Fáil representatives during a visit to Leinster House.

A parliamentary committee in Dublin recommended a state inquiry be held into the murder after the judge-led Barron Report damned the original Garda investigation.

It found the Royal Ulster Constabulary told the Gardaí in 1979 that it believed four named loyalists were involved in Mr Ludlow's killing but the information was not pursued by Gardaí at the time.

After his killing members of the Gardaí wrongly told the Ludlow family that 47-year-old had been shot by the IRA as an informer.

The Barron Report however found that he had no connections with any subversive organisation.

Seamus Ludlow
Seamus Ludlow

It instead stated that it was "undisputed that two of the suspects in the murder were members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)".

After Thursday's visit to Leinster House, the family issued a statement: "Our determination for this struggle is far from waning.

"It is undiminished by the years of lies, cover-up and false hopes, and is strengthened now by the involvement and commitment of our younger generations who are also burning for a final positive conclusion after four decades of despair.

"Nobody is being held to account and nobody in either government appears to care.

"The many years of state and political indifference have not quenched our family's desire for a final just conclusion for an innocent victim, and his remaining siblings, who have been treated disgracefully will not rest until that just conclusion is realised.

"As a family we stand here today no longer going to sit back and wait for politicians to deliver us nothing."

The Ludlow family believe their civil proceedings in Belfast against the PSNI, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Northern Ireland's Secretary of State will force the disclosure of crucial evidence about the killing.

Press Association

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