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The Argus, 8 February 2006

Former TD admits IRA not to blame

Former Co Louth TD Brendan McGahon admitted he was wrong to blame the IRA for the murder of Seamus Ludlow during a radioFormer outspoken TD Brendan McGahon - who never heard of the loyalist murder attacks on Dundalk, Castleblayney and Silverbridge! interview with RTÉ broadcaster Pat Kenny in 1993.

“I was wrong but only hindsight has proven me wrong,” he told the Oireachtas sub-committee inquiry into the Barron Report.

The ex-Fine Gael TD said he was given the information at the time by a garda, but he couldn’t remember his name.

He recalled that the time of the murder was a dreadful period in the Border area.

“There was fear all around,” he said. “There was economic depression in Dundalk because of the level of crime in the 1970s.

“There were many instances of bodies found lying on the roadsides. So when Seamus was killed and his body found lying on the roadside a couple of hundred yards from his home, it was in my opinion, reasonable to assume that the IRA had done it because the IRA was the only firm operating in that business of slaughter, murder in the Border area at that time.

“There was no other rational view.”

Mr McGahon added: “At that time, there was no evidence at all of any forays across the Border by UVF personnel.”

His admission has been welcomed by Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan who said that “While I would like to welcome the fact that former Fine Gael TD Brendan McGahon has finally admitted that he was wrong to blame the IRA for the killing of Seamus Ludlow by loyalists, I find it hard to believe that he can’t remember what member of the Gardai gave him the information.”

“More disturbing, however, was Brendan McGahon's suggestion at the hearing that loyalists couldn’t have been suspected of the killing at the time because he says they weren’t active in the area at the time. This is an incredible statement given the fact that loyalists had been involved in the bombing of Dundalk in December 1975, Castleblayney in March 1976 and in other bombings in Counties Monaghan and Cavan in the preceding years. The reality is that Brendan McGahon tried to use the killing of Seamus Ludlow to advance his own particular anti-republican agenda regardless of the hurt and pain it caused the Ludlow family.”


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Revised: February 10, 2006