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The Dundalk Democrat, 15 February 2006:

Seamus Ludlow Oireachtas Hearings

No inquiry but Minister apologises

"Family treated badly"

By Anne Marie Eaton

An early photograph of Seamus Ludlow, murdered by UDR/Red Hand Commando 2 May 1976Minister Michael McDowell is the latest in a long line of officials to apologise to the Ludlow family for the mismanagement of their brother and uncle's murder investigation in 1976.

The Minister was speaking at the Oireachtas Committee Hearings on Seamus Ludlow's murder when he issued the apology.

When asked would he apologise he said "I am more than happy to formally express my deep regret at the manner in which the family was dealt with."

However, Committee member Deputy Peter Power noted: "There is a difference between expressing deep regret and making an apology."

The Minister replied: "There is a difference in that in expressing my deep regret at what happened, I am apologising. I apologise and express mmy deep regret for what happened."

On the issue of whether the Department was notified of the four suspects names handed over to the Gardai in 1979 he said: "Some assume - I believe they are wrong - that everything the Garda knows was and is forwarded to the Department. That was not the case at the time in question, nor is it the case now."

He did admit that the Garda investigation had been flawed. "The Garda investigation into the murder of Seamus Ludlow, undoubtedly, had good and, unfortunately, very bad pointsa," he said.

The Barron Report had defined areas of grievance for the Ludlow family and Minister McDowell said: "On the basis of the findings of the Barron Report, the Ludlow family, undoubtedly, has a sound basis for feeling very aggrieved at a number of events relating to the interview of suspects and the original coroner's inquest.

He did not however, support calls for a public sworn judicial inquiry,

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Download the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)


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Revised: February 26, 2006