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Ludlow family seeks sworn public inquiry

Carol Coulter, Legal Affairs Correspondent

The family of the late Seamus Ludlow, who was murdered near Dundalk in 1976, has called for a full sworn public inquiry into the investigation of his death. Such an inquiry would have powers to compel witnesses and seize evidence.

This follows the publication last week of a report by Mr Justice Henry Barron into Mr Ludlow's murder and its subsequent investigation. No one has ever been charged with the murder.

The Barron report was presented last Wednesday to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, which has set up a sub-committee to pursue it further.

The family has issued a statement after reading the 100-page report. They said they would make a full submission to the Oireachtas sub-committee.

However, they added: "Given the seriousness of the matters disclosed by Mr Justice Barron, we do not believe the committee itself can perform this function [of finding the truth], particularly in light of the Supreme Court decision in 2002 in the Abbeylara case." 

They also expressed their dismay at the lack of an apology from the Garda Siochana. "This is particularly disappointing given that then commissioner Byrne acknowledged to Mr Justice Barron by letter dated January 10th, 2003, that the main responsibility and blame lay with them," the family statement said.

"Given that some family members are of advanced years it was unnecessarily cruel to withhold an apology then and remains so now. We will have to consider other remedies."

The statement thanked Mr Justice Barron and his team for their work, commenting: "It is clear that he was confronted with considerable obstructions from powerful sources." It also noted the comments of former Garda commissioner Laurence Wren, and said they considered that he, like everyone else, should have the opportunity to defend his good name, in a public inquiry.

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Copyright 2005 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 09, 2005