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The Irish News, 26 February 2008:
'Flimsiest excuses' used to block 1976 murder inquiry say family
By Valerie Robinson
The family of forestry worker Seamus Ludlow, pictured, has accused the Irish government of using the 'flimsiest excuses' not to hold an independent inquiry into his 1976 murder.
Campaigners are still awaiting a decision by the Republic's attorney general on whether a new inquiry should be conducted into Mr Ludlow's killing by loyalist paramilitaries on the border.
The attorney general had been expected to make a decision on the issue earlier this month, but the victim's relatives have still not heard whether their request will be granted.
Mr Ludlow's nephew Jimmy Sharkey told The Irish News of his concern that the government was attempting to "sweep his uncle's murder under the carpet".
He was commenting on a remark made by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the Dail last week that - on the advice he had received - there "does not seem to be way of getting a tight investigation that can meaningfully deal with this issue".
Responding to a question by Sinn Fein's Caoimhghin O Caolain about loyalist atrocities, the Taoiseach said: "We cannot have inquiries into all of them.
"We will not get behind the MI5 and MI6 information in any of the cases."
The Ludlow family's legal advisor is studying a transcript of the Dail exchange but Mr Sharkey accused the government of attempting to put obstacles in their way to getting the full facts behind Mr Ludlow's killing.
"We have been blocked and impeded at every corner by the government and of course they're taking their time about this [AG's decision]. They are just trying to use the flimsiest excuses not to have an inquiry," Mr Sharkey said.
Campaigners are seeking the fresh probe to investigate why gardai conducting the original murder inquiry failed to act on information that pointed to the identity of the killers and didn't follow up a ballistics trail that led to Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for the Taoiseach said officials from the attorney general's office had met the Ludlow's legal advisors to discuss their call for a "focused public inquiry" and had reported to the Taoiseach's office.
"Issues arising out of the meeting are to be considered before responding to the request of the family," he said.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Sharkey said the family had been told by gardai that the force is continuing to cooperate with the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team on the matter.
He warned that if the government failed to move the issue forward, the Ludlow family would consider taking their campaign to the European Court of Human Rights.
Seamus Ludlow, a 47-year-old Co Louth bachelor, who lived with his mother, was lured into a car after leaving a Dundalk pub on the night of May 2 1976.
His body was found in a laneway the following day having been shot three times.
Four Northern Ireland men have been named as suspects in the murder but they have never been charged, and the authorities in the south have never sought their extradition. The RUC first told gardai of the four men in 1979.
Earlier this month, the Dail heard calls from opposition parties for the British-Irish interparliamentary body to be used as a mechanism for co-operation from the British authorities in releasing files relating to murders linked to the Northern Ireland conflict.
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