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The Newry Democrat, 18 July 2006:
SAS suspects in Ludlow murder
By Brian Hyland
The nephew of a man abducted and killed by loyalist paramilitaries said he is not surprised at revelations that eight armed SAS men were arrested on the border days after his uncle's murder.
Newspaper reports last week revealed that eight SAS men armed with pistols and machine guns were stopped and arrested by Gardai on the southern side of the Omeath Road - four days after the murder of Seamus Ludlow from Dundalk.
Mr Ludlow's nephew, Michael Donegan from Dromintee, said he wasn't surprised to hear the men were arrested and questioned but said he was unable to comment on whether or not they were involved in his uncle's murder.
"I think at the time Garda had to ask them about it," he said "There has been talk over the years that they (SAS) had in their possession maps of the north Louth area with particular houses identified, people they were interested in. Whether they were used for spying operations or to abduct someone, who knows.
"I certainly do believe that the men that killed Seamus weren't acting alone. They just didn't find themselves in Dundalk that night. We know, pretty reliably, that they were in Dundalk that night looking for a different individual. The killers were from Newtownards and they wouldn't have known this target. They were acting on information supplied to them by someone in intelligence.
"The stories that they want us to believe is that the killers just happened to arrive in Dundalk after a night's drinking. That's nonsense.
"I personally would believe that they could have well been working with the SAS. I don't know if those eight SAS men were involved, but this is the kind of stuff that was going on. The RUC, the British army and loyalists all worked together, so it wouldn't be hard to imagine why the Gardai questioned these men. After all, it was four days after Seamus' killing."
Mr Ludlow, a forestry worker, was abducted outside Dundalk by masked men and shot dead on May 2, 1976. At the time, Gardai claimed Mr Ludlow had links to the IRA and had been killed because he was an informer, an allegation always denied by his family.
But almost 25 years later, it was revealed that Gardai had been informed by the RUC in 1979 of the four loyalist suspects they believed were involved in the murder, but Gardai had not taken action. This prompted the Irish government to order Justice Barron to conduct a series of investigations into the murder - particularly collusion between loyalists and security forces in the north - which resulted in last year's Barron Report and Oireachtas hearings.
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The Irish News, 13 July 2006: Revealed — how British threatened harsh sanctions over SAS arrests
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