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The Irish News, 18 February 2006:

Relative believes gardai willing to give evidence

By Valerie Robinson

Southern Correspondent

Seamus Ludlow: a 47-year-old forestry worker who was murdered by UDR/Red Hand Commando 2 May 1976.A relative of Co Louth forester Seamus Ludlow has said he believes gardai involved in his 1976 murder investigation now want full details of what happened made public.

Mr Ludlow's nephew Jimmy Sharkey last night said he was certain that some officers who have not appeared before Oireachtas committee hearings about a report on the murder investigation would cooperate with a public inquiry.

"I believe there were gardai who were stopped and impeded by politicians at the time, with C3 (then Garda gathering intelligence unit) acting as a buffer between the politicians and (investigating) gardai," he said.

Seamus Ludlow (47), above, was abducted and killed by a loyalist gang as he made his way home from a Dundalk pub in May 1976. His body was later found with gunshot wounds in a rural laneway.

Gardai wound up the investigation within weeks and were accused of failing to tell the family of Mr Ludlow's inquest date.

The Oireachtas committee studying the findings of Mr Justice Henry Barron's report on the murder has heard former Superintendent John Courtney claim that he had been given the names of four loyalist suspects by the RUC 18 months after the murder, but was told by his superiors that no action would be taken. Former Garda commissioner Laurence Wren, head of the C3 unit in the late 1970s, has insisted it was not his decisioin to wind up the investigation without attempting to interrogate the suspects.

Mr Sharkey said a "speedy" sworn public inquiry could compel witnesses to attend and would gain access to security files that had not been made available to Judge Barron.

"I'm convinced there are gardai out there who want to clear the air.

"And there is a lot more to come out.

"An inquiry would allow them to speak out," he said.

Earlier this week, Judge Barron told the Oireachtas committee that he had not received any RUC files during his investigation. 

His report found that the RUC gave the names of four suspects to their Garda countetparts in 1979.

The judge said he believed the decision not to follow up the intelligence was "probably political".

The Ludlow family's solicitor is due to make a submission to the committee next week.


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Bank of Ireland
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Dundalk
County Louth
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Copyright 2006 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 24, 2006