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The Dundalk Democrat.1 February 2006:

Senior gardai failed to act on tip off

By Anne Marie Eaton

Retired Chief Supt John Courtney has once again claimed his superiors failed to act on information he received about the Seamus Ludlow murder.

Speaking on the second day of public hearings of the Oireachtas Committee into the Seamus Ludlow murder, John Courtney said that he passed suspects names onto senior gardai but that the case never went any further.

The Oireachtas Justice Committee is holding the hearings into the findings of the Barron Report which has severely criticised Gardai.

The report cited retired Commissioner Laurence Wren as the person who most likely halted the investigations by failing to question the four men whose names were known to the RUC in 1977 and passed on to Gardai by the RUC in 1979.

THe report also stated it was likely that Mr Wren would have discussed the matter with other senior Gardai and possibly senior Department of Justice officials.

In September of last year Mr Courtney told a second inquest into the Dundalk man's 1976 murder that he had not been given permission to go ahead with any questioning of the suspects.

He said he passed the information through to Gardai headquarters C3 "subversive division" at the time.

He said at the inquest "I was anxious to interview them and looked for authorisation but I didn't get it."

"I tried to get permission to interview but it was denied. I could do no more."

Also speaking at the public hearings was former Justice Minister Gerry Collins, Laurence Wren, and former Drogheda Chief Superintendent Richard Cotteral.

Former TD Brendan McGahon also sopke at the hearing where ex-detective Terry Hynes said gardai often went north to interview suspects and was not aware of a directive forbidding such a practice.

A copy of the Barron Report is available to view on request at the County Library in Dundalk.


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Copyright 2006 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 19, 2006