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The Barron Inquiry - Draft Terms of Reference for Inquiry - A Fresh Inquest 2005 Inquest Account - BIRW Report - Witness Account - Ludlow Family Account - Sunday World report May 1976 - Meeting the Police OmbudsmanEd Moloney Radio Interview - 25th Anniversary - Profile - Questions - Photographs - Press Release - Letter to  RUC - Magill article 1999 - Press Coverage - Barron Report Published - Ludlow Family Response to Barron Report - Download the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file) - Statement from Justice for the Forgotten - Joint Oireachtas Committee Request for Submissions - Joint statement from Justice for the Forgotten, Relatives for Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre - Download Transcript of Ludlow family meeting with Oireachtas Sub-Committee (Word file)

Original Ludlow Family website - Second Ludlow Family website - The Dundalk Bombing

The Argus, 080206.htm

Garda Commissioner apologises to family of late Seamus Ludlow

arda Commissioner Noel Conroy has apologised to the family of the late Seamus Ludlow for the failure of the force in the investigation of Mr. Ludlow's murder almost 30 years ago.

He also apologised for the failure of the gardai to notify relatives about the inquest into his death.

“I regret it very much that we did not bring this case to a satisfactory conclusion and the management of the gardai feel the same way,” the commissioner said.

And he added that he would have no difficulty in asking the PSNI if there was anything else they could do to re-open the investigation into the murder of the 47-year-old forestry worker who was shot dead outside Dundalk on May 2nd, 1976.

But he told the Joint Oireachtas sub Committee on Justice that it was quite possible that the PSNI had exhausted their powers in relation to the case.

Four people were arrested and questioned about Mr. Ludlow's murder but the DPP in the North had said that there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal prosecution.

The Commissioner agreed that there had been co-operation between the RUC (now the PSNI) and Gardai at the time of Mr. Ludlow's murder, but said that he found it strange that the RUC had not passed on information they had about the four suspects to gardai until 10 months after the crime. “Maybe the RUC were protecting an informer?” he said.

Asked about the failure of the Gardai to inform the family of the original inquest in 1979 he said “it was very regrettable and to make it worse, we did not go and seek permission to have it adjourned, and I would expect that was the least we could have done so that the family could hear the evidence, and I regret it.”

Earlier Commissioner Conroy's predecessor Pat Byrne told the Committee that it was the responsibility of the gardai to take the next step once the RUC had identified four suspects to them.

“I am of the view that the system failed and I point the finger at the gardai.

“I don't know what happened I cannot identify a particular person, a number are now dead, but I don't think there was a conspiracy not to pursue the case” Mr. Byrne said.

It would be unfair to suggest that the RUC should have taken the lead role in the case, he added.

Mr. Byrne said he believed it was a system failure and he wouldn't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that some persons did not want the case solved.

The previous day, former Garda commission Laurence Wren disputed the finding of the Barron Report that it was probably him who made the decision not to pursue the interrogation of the four loyalist suspects in Northern Ireland.

He said he didn’t know why the Barron Report had reached the conclusion it did.

The former head of the intelligence gathering C3 denied that he had no part in the investigation into the murder of Seamus Ludlow.

He claimed that there was no way he could have authorised then Supt Courtney or anyone else to travel to Northern Ireland to interview the suspects. He said the issue had never been discussed with him.

Mr. Wren said that the gardai were prevented from going up to interrogate suspects in political or subversion cases in the North due to a directive signed in 1953 and for legal reasons.

He said he had never heard of a request by the former Supt Courtney to question the suspects.

When asked about former Commissioner Pat Byrne’s conclusion that any decision not to proceed could only have been made by himself in consultation with the Department of Justice, he replied that it was “not correct” as far as he was concerned.

Mr. Courtney had told the committee that he was given the names of the four loyalist suspects 18 months after the murder.

He said he was regular contact with C3 and was disappointed that nothing was done about having the suspects interviewed.

While he had never spoken directly to Mr. Wren about the matter, he was certain that he had been told by Det Sgt. Boyle that it was Mr. Wren who had made the decision not to proceed with the investigations in Northern Ireland.

He said he was told that if they had allowed it, the RUC would have looked for reciprocal arrangements.

The then Minister for Defence Mr. Gerard Collins said that extradition arrangements weren’t in place at the time.

He felt that the key question was why the RUC had done nothing and didn’t say anything for 18 months.


There was no reason why the RUC couldn’t have carried out their own investigations in Northern Ireland.


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