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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

Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights

Sub-Committee on the Barron Report on the Murder of Seamus Ludlow

Hearing, 24 January 2006

Submission by Brendan Ludlow, a nephew of the late Seamus Ludlow, before the Oireachtas sub-committee.

Open hearings of the Joint Oireachtas sub-committee on Justice's inquiry into the recently published Barron Report into the 1976 murder of Seamus Ludlow commenced on 24 January 2006 with submissions from several members of the extended Ludlow family. In the afternoon session important submissions were also made by Justice for the Forgotten and British Irish Rights Watch.

Joint Oireachtas sub-committee sessions continued the following week on 31 January and 1 February, with important evidence taken from retired Gardai and former politicians, as well as the current Garda Commissioner. 

  • Excerpt from the Morning session, taken from the official Transcript:
    10.00 am - Members of the Ludlow family

Chairman: Mr. Brendan Ludlow is a nephew of Seamus Ludlow.  Perhaps he will give us some information on how the family felt.

 Mr. Brendan Ludlow: I thank the sub-committee for the opportunity to attend and to speak.  In 1972, two gardaí came to stay in our house and they were put up by my mother and father.  This is how my mother and father treated the State.  They put them up between 1972 and 1976.  I joined the 27th battalion of the Defence Forces in 1977 and operated on the Border where Seamus was killed.  I operated there from 1977 until 1999.  This is how we treated the State.  The State has treated us as described from 1976 to date; we have had nothing else but the same treatment from the Garda Síochána.

  Chairman: I ask Deputies Gerard Murphy and Peter Power to ask their questions.

Deputy G. Murphy: Given Mr. Brendan Ludlow's experience as a member of the Defence Forces when the RUC supplied names to the Garda Síochána - a matter on which there was no follow-up by the force - does he believe there was a policy in the Twenty-Six Counties at the time to the effect that leads given by the RUC to the Garda would not be followed up or that the Garda would not interview people in the Six Counties?  Does he believe that a political decision was made in this regard?

  Mr. B. Ludlow: Yes.

Deputy G. Murphy: There was never any effort on the part of the security forces, the Garda Síochána or the Army in the South to interview people in the North.

Mr. B. Ludlow: I do not understand the question.

Deputy G. Murphy: Does Mr. Ludlow believe the Garda was under instructions on foot of a policy not to interview the four people the RUC mentioned?

Mr. B. Ludlow: Yes.

Deputy G. Murphy: Does Mr. Brendan Ludlow believe that decision was correct or incorrect in the context of the period?  The excuse has been made that the UK authorities were seeking other concessions, including the right to overfly the Republic's territory, at that stage.  In that context, politicians down here made a decision based on the belief that if they sought rights in the Six Counties, they would have to concede rights to the British in the Twenty-Six Counties.

 Mr. B. Ludlow: Yes.

Deputy G. Murphy: Does Mr. Brendan Ludlow believe that was a good policy decision?

  Mr. B. Ludlow: What do I think of that policy decision?

  Deputy G. Murphy: As a member of the Defence Forces at the time, what did he think?

  Mr. B. Ludlow: I did not join the Defence Forces until a year later, 1977.

Deputy G. Murphy: Given Mr. Brendan Ludlow's understanding of the circumstances at the time, does he believe that was the only alternative?

Mr. B. Ludlow: I would say that was the alternative they came up with.

Deputy G. Murphy: I would like to ask about something that has been discussed before.  What is Mr. Brendan Ludlow's reaction to Mr. Justice Barron's finding that the Garda investigation, as a clinical investigation, was carried out properly?

Mr. B. Ludlow: For me, it was not carried out properly.

  Deputy G. Murphy: Would he make a distinction between the actual investigation and the manner in which the Garda behaved towards the family?

Mr. B. Ludlow: Basically speaking, the Garda told my father nothing.  They treated my aunts and uncles with the utmost disrespect.

Deputy G. Murphy: There has been no contact whatsoever from the Garda about any of those issues since then.

Mr. B. Ludlow: There has been no apology and nothing has come forward at all.

Deputy G. Murphy: When it became clear to the Garda that it had misinformed the family and that the initial allegations or rumours were incorrect, no efforts were made----

Mr. B. Ludlow: Nothing.

Deputy P. Power: Thank you, Brendan, for coming in to assist us.  We received a helpful document from your solicitor prior to our hearings which indicates that Brendan Ludlow's contribution will address the sense of betrayal experienced by the family.  We can all understand that.  The document states that your contribution will address how ordinary citizens fell victim to what appear to have been State policies which did not spare the most deserving.  Could you elaborate on those State policies?

Mr. Brendan Ludlow: I do not understand the question.

  Deputy P. Power: The document from your solicitor states that your contribution will address how ordinary citizens fell victim to what appears to have been State policies - Irish State policies - which did not spare the most deserving, presumably your uncle.

Mr. B. Ludlow: I do not understand, but I think what you mean is my mother and father had put up two gardaí in the house.  They were very helpful to the State.  I was very helpful to the State when I took a job in the Defence Forces.  From 1976, however, until 2006 we have been treated in the same way by the Garda Síochána, we do not get any information from them.

Deputy P. Power: The document says there was a State policy.  I am trying to find out what that policy was.  Was there a policy-----

Mr. B. Ludlow: Seamus, could you answer that question?

Mr.  McGuill: That addresses Mr. Justice Barron's observation that security branch had a policy decision and that policy decision in effect meant that this crime was not investigated and this family was not protected.  That is obviously something this committee will wish to examine.  It is the classic big policy question, something we are anxious that the committee explore.

Chairman: We will not do that immediately.  We would like to stick with Mr. Brendan Ludlow and what he has to say.

Deputy P. Power: The family obviously had issues with the Garda and the State from early on.  Why, on a personal level, did you feel it appropriate for you to become a member of an organ of the State?  The Garda is similar to the Army.

  Mr. B. Ludlow: Why did I become a member of the Defence Forces?

  Deputy P. Power: Yes.

  Mr. B. Ludlow: I said to myself that my uncle had been shot and perhaps I could go out and stop other people from being shot.  That is how I felt so I decided to join the Defence Forces.

  Deputy P. Power: That is very admirable.  Because of your knowledge of activities along the Border at that time, did you ever come to your own conclusion as to why the Garda would lie to you?  What was their motivation behind lying to your family?

  Mr. B. Ludlow: I think they did not want to know about the Ludlow family.  The statement was made that it was political and he was shot by his own.

Deputy P. Power: Why did they not want to investigate?  Do you not know?

  Mr. B. Ludlow: No.

  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

I Top

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