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The Barron Inquiry - Draft Terms of Reference for Inquiry - A Fresh Inquest 2005 Inquest Account - BIRW Report - Witness Account - Ludlow Family Account - Sunday World report May 1976 - Meeting the Police OmbudsmanEd Moloney Radio Interview - 25th Anniversary - Profile - Questions - Photographs - Press Release - Letter to  RUC - Magill article 1999 - Press Coverage - Barron Report Published - Ludlow Family Response to Barron Report - Download the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file) - Statement from Justice for the Forgotten - Joint Oireachtas Committee Request for Submissions - Joint statement from Justice for the Forgotten, Relatives for Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre - Download Transcript of Ludlow family meeting with Oireachtas Sub-Committee (Word file)

Original Ludlow Family website - Second Ludlow Family website - The Dundalk Bombing

Chairman: Thank you.  You have been very helpful.  We now come to Ms Briege Doyle, a niece of Seamus.  Please tell us what you want to say.

Ms Briege Doyle: I am Mr. Jimmy Sharkey's sister, I was reared in the same house as Seamus.  I was only 16 when he was murdered.  When you are 16, it was an awful thing for your uncle to die and it was worse that he was shot.  I remember the special branch questioned me in a car on my own.  I was taken into a car outside auntie Eileen's house and I was asked who did I think killed my uncle.  I was only 16, I had not a clue.  I did not know anything about the troubles in the North.  He was a quiet man.  I was reared with him - so was Jimmy - and he would not harm a hair on your head.  It is sad to see a young man die like that.  He did not deserve what he got.

Chairman: Was he well liked by all of the family?

Ms Doyle: We loved him.  I loved all my uncles but because we were reared with him he was like another father to us.  Although there were ten of us he never scolded us.  He was a lovely person.  I was only 16 and could not understand who would shoot my uncle.

Chairman: Where does Ms Doyle come in the family?

Ms Doyle: I am the fourth oldest.

Senator J. Walsh: Ms Doyle was obviously very young and impressionable at the age of 16 and this was probably her first experience of bereavement.

Ms Doyle: Yes.

Senator J. Walsh: Can she recall whether there was much interaction with the gardaí coming to the house after the murder?

Ms Doyle: I recall them calling but when one was aged 16 one did not stand listening to them.  I recall them taking me into a car on my own.  I was afraid because I was only 16 years old and neither my mother nor father was with me.

Senator J. Walsh: Was that the only time they interviewed Ms Doyle?

Ms Doyle: Yes.

Senator J. Walsh: Did they do that simply to see whether Ms Doyle had any information?

Ms Doyle: That was near the time of my uncle's funeral, shortly after he died.

Senator J. Walsh: The family has acknowledged that there was some contact during 1976 but can Ms Doyle recall whether there was any further contact with the Garda Síochána in 1979 or 1980?

Ms Doyle: People called to the house to see my mother or father, not me.

Senator J. Walsh: Was Ms Doyle unaware of the likely suspects involved in her uncle's death until the events of the mid-1990s?

Ms Doyle: I was led to believe that Uncle Seamus was shot in mistake for somebody else.  Now I know that was not true.

Deputy F. McGrath: Ms Doyle is very welcome and I extend my sympathies to her.  Ms Doyle said that she was 16 years old at the time of her uncle's death and she was very close to him.  One can tell from today's submission about Seamus that this is a case of the slaughter of the innocent.  The more I listen to the family the more insight I receive.  It is important that we understand what a nice, decent, kind person Seamus was.

Will Ms Doyle give us more information about the kind of questions the special branch officers asked her when she was 16 years of age and how she felt at the time?

Ms Doyle: I was afraid.  I was in the back of the car and they were in the front.  They asked me repeatedly who did I think killed my uncle.  I said I did not know.  They repeated the question and said the IRA shot him.  I did not know what the IRA was.  I knew nothing.

Deputy F. McGrath: Years later when Ms Doyle discussed this with members of her extended family did she understand the significance of what the special branch officers tried to do when she was 16 years old?

Ms Doyle: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: Did Ms Doyle think they were digging deeper to see whether the family thought Seamus was involved in an internal paramilitary feud or something of that kind?  Were they hinting at that?

Ms Doyle: They probably were but I was only a child.  That is not to say it did not bother me but I did not understand it at the time

Deputy F. McGrath: When Ms Doyle reflects on Seamus's murder does she think this was a murky cover up by the security forces of this State and in the North?  Does the family feel that this was a case of gross incompetence and mismanagement by the security forces and senior gardaí in respect of Seamus's case?  What is Ms Doyle's considered view now?

Ms Doyle: I do not know.

Deputy F. McGrath: Was it something more sinister than bad management and bad policing?

Ms Doyle: It was just bad policing.  The police did not care.

Deputy F. McGrath: It was mismanagement and gross incompetence in respect of the investigation.

  Chairman: We are not investigating that issue because Mr. Justice Barron said that it was competent and diligent.

  Deputy F. McGrath: May I continue to put another question?

Chairman: We are not here to apportion responsibility under any circumstances.

Deputy F. McGrath: I accept that; I accept that we have terms of reference.

  Another insight from today, which many people will not necessarily have tapped into previously, concerns the messages that were put out on the night of Seamus Ludlow's murder.  It was suggested then that the loyalists and members of the security forces, whoever they were, who killed Seamus were involved in some kind of drinking spree whereas, from the family's perspective, that was not the case.

Ms Doyle: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: It is important that is made public, given that many people were given impression that those who murdered Seamus were on a drinking spree and that his murder happened only by accident.  We need to go into all those questions. That seems to be the family's considered view as well.

Chairman: I thank Briege Doyle for her evidence.  I know it has not been easy for her, but we appreciate her coming here to give evidence.

 We will now hear from Mr. Jimmy Sharkey, who is a nephew of Seamus Ludlow.  I welcome him to the meeting.

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


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Copyright © 2006 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 07, 2006