Sunday 21 January 2018

Remains found in France could be INLA man

Search in France for Seamus Ruddy (inset)
Search in France for Seamus Ruddy (inset)
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

In the two years before his disappearance and murder in May 1985 Seamus Ruddy was organising shipments of guns and explosives from French and Palestinian terror groups on behalf of the Irish National Liberation Army.

Yesterday, 32 years after he disappeared, human remains thought to be his have been found in the forest at Pont-de-l'Arche, near Rouen, in northern France where the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains has been searching.

Before he met his end, Ruddy was at the nexus of an elaborate arms smuggling operation.

INLA contacts in Paris had plentiful sources of weapons from Soviet agents in the former Czechoslovakia and from the PLO in Tunisia.

Both were fomenting left wing 'revolution' in Europe. The French group supplying the INLA, Action Directe, had links to Germany's Baader-Meinhof and Italy's Red Brigades who were both kidnapping and murdering politicians and business leaders.

Ruddy smuggled guns and explosives to the INLA via the Rosslare-Le Havre ferry route.

But divisions had broken out among the INLA in Belfast with a faction led by John O'Reilly who, with two henchmen, travelled to France to uncover Ruddy's source and take control of it.

O'Reilly and his team kidnapped, tortured and shot Ruddy dead.

O'Reilly was unsuccessful in his leadership bid and rivals lured him and associate Thomas 'Ta' Power to the Rossnaree Hotel, outside Drogheda, Co Louth, in January 1987 and shot both dead.

In the subsequent internal feuding 13 members of the organisation were killed.

Sunday Independent

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