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The Irish News,  4 November 2005:

Ludlow murder 'a random sectarian killing

By Senan Hogan PA

A Government report in the Republic into the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow has not been able to clearly establish who killed him, it emerged last night.

The 100-page probe by Mr Justice Henry Barron said the Dundalk forestry worker's death was a random sectarian killing of an innocent Catholic by loyalist extremists.

A special Oireachtas sub-committee, which finally published the document last night in Dublin, refused to comment on its content or preempt the findings of the sub-committee.

The report, released under full parliamentary privilege, states that mr Ludlow was picked up in a car in May 1976 by four men: James Fitzsoimmons, Richard Long, Samuel Carroll and Paul Hosking.

The report said: "Information obtained by the RUC from Hosking suggested that it was Carroll who shot Seamus Ludlow.

"The inquiry has not been in a position to test the veracity of this allegation."

Mr Justice Barron said he had no evuidence that Mr Ludlow had any republican sympathies which might have led to him being targeted by loyalist subversives.

Mr Justice Baron said his job was made more difficult as documents were lost, destroyed or misplaced and key witnesses were ill, dead, or unable to remember important events.

The report makes no clear findings about allegations by the Ludlow family of collusion by police forces on both sides of the border.

Mr Ludlow's nephew, Jimmy Sharkey, said he could only briefly consider the report but reiterated his family's call for an independent public inquiry with powers to compel key witnesses. Justice minister Michael McDowell welcomed the report and said he looked forward to examining recommendations made by the sub-committee after its public hearings.

He offered his sincere condolences to Mr Ludlow's family.



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Revised: November 12, 2005