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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

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. 

Submission by Mrs Eileen Fox, a sister of the late Seamus Ludlow:

Chairman: I welcome Mrs. Eileen Fox, sister of Seamus, and thank her for coming.

Mrs. Eileen Fox: We were subjected to an awful lot of harassment from gardaí who were in and out every day.  For weeks they were with me in the house every day.  They were saying it was the IRA and this and that.

Chairman: Were there many around the family for a long time after the murder?  Were they sympathetic?

Mrs. Fox: Who?

  Chairman: The people who were around, gardaí.

Mrs. Fox: No way.

Chairman: Perhaps we will have a dialogue with Deputy Finian McGrath and Senator Jim Walsh to broaden out matters.

Deputy F. McGrath: I welcome Mrs. Fox and sympathise with her family on the horrific murder of Seamus who, as far as I am concerned, was an innocent Irish citizen, a forestry worker, and travelling home from a social night out.  What happened to the Ludlow family was appalling and totally unacceptable.  Before we go any further, it is important to state members of the joint Oireachtas committee believe Seamus and his murder matter to every member.  I assure the family there will be no fudge on the issue in trying to get at the truth, to get justice and assist the family in the best way we can.

  My first question relates to what happened in the immediate aftermath of the murder.  What was the initial reaction of the family and extended family, particularly in the days following the murder?

  Mrs. Fox: The day he was murdered we had very little ------

Deputy F. McGrath: Can Mrs. Fox describe the hurt and trauma of the days after the murder from the family's point of view so we can have some insight into it?

Mrs. Fox: It was terrible.

Deputy F. McGrath: Basically the family was turned upside down with the shock and the trauma, is that so?

Mrs. Fox: Yes.

Deputy F. McGrath: What was the immediate reaction of the Garda to Seamus's murder during those few days?  Without stating names, what was its approach to the family with regard to who was responsible?

Mrs. Fox: They were not very nice any time they called to me.  The way they carried on was terrible.  Just one called.

Deputy F. McGrath: From a public service point of view, as far as the family was concerned, they were not treated properly and fairly.

Mrs. Fox: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: Added to the nightmare of Seamus's murder, there was the added implication, noted in the written submission, that members of the family could be implicated in the murder.  From where did that idea come?

  Mrs. Fox: I do not know.

  Deputy F. McGrath: Was it from a Garda source?

  Mr. Brendan Ludlow: Yes.

Deputy F. McGrath: This implication adds a further horrific hurt.  It is important this committee knows that is from where the implication came and that it was made at that time.  From a personal point of view, who did the family think was responsible for Seamus's murder?  Did the family have any suspicions?

Mrs. Fox: Our brother was murdered, which was awful, and we were thinking and thinking about it.  For them to come in and say it was someone else, we did not know where we were going or what to think.

Deputy F. McGrath: Therefore, in the immediate few days after the murder the family did not know what had happened or whether it was loyalist paramilitaries or a local or paramilitary issue.  Did it have any indication at all? 

Mrs. Fox: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: From where did the story of him being an "informer" come?  What was the source of that story?  Why did that arise?

Mrs. Fox: I do not know, I thought it was just intimidation by the Garda.  Even the day after they were still at the same story.

Deputy F. McGrath: That story was prevalent at the time as far as the family was concerned.  Were any local politicians in the area spinning this story and making these assertions?

  Mrs. Fox: I do not know.

  Deputy F. McGrath: Did that arise?

  Mrs. Fox: I do not know.

Mr. B. Ludlow: Not until later.

Mrs. Fox: To tell the truth, I do not know.

Deputy F. McGrath: Was there ever any mention in the early days of loyalist paramilitaries or members of the UDR and British security forces being involved in Seamus's murder?  We had received submissions on the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, but this was two years after the 1974 bombings.

  Mrs. Fox: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: Was there any question of that?

Mrs. Fox: From the Garda?

Deputy F. McGrath: From anybody?

Mrs. Fox: I never heard any.

Deputy F. McGrath: Even though sectarian and security force killings were fairly common at the time.

Mrs. Fox: I did not hear it from the Garda.  I heard it said, but not from the Garda.

Deputy F. McGrath: Did Mrs. Fox hear it as one of the possible options from the Garda?  An objective policeman involved in an inquiry would look at all the options.  Surely that should have been a top priority option at the time.  Did Mrs. Fox hear it from any Garda source?

  Mrs. Fox: No.

Deputy F. McGrath: Did any senior garda ever mention the scenario of the possibility of loyalist paramilitaries or members of the UDR being involved in Seamus's murder?

Mrs. Fox: Never.

Deputy F. McGrath: I know it is very difficult to speak about this, but from the family's point of view is it the bottom line that the family wants a public inquiry? 

Mrs. Fox: Yes.

Deputy F. McGrath: Does the family want an end to the fudging and messing around with the issue?

Mrs. Fox. Yes.

Deputy F. McGrath: Thank you.

  Senator J. Walsh: In common with my colleagues, I wish to sympathise with Mrs. Fox and the other family members on their loss and on the failure to achieve closure during the past 30 years which has obviously exacerbated the feelings experienced by the family.

 Will Mrs. Fox indicate to the sub-committee where she lived in relation to Thistle Cross which is where Seamus lived?

Mrs. Fox: I lived next door to where he lived - I thought the Senator meant where he was murdered.

Senator J. Walsh: You lived beside each other.

Mrs. Fox: Yes.

Senator J. Walsh: There is great angst on the part of the family concerning the Garda approach and the failure to progress the case.  Prior to the murder, did the family have any relationship, good, bad or indifferent, with the Garda?

  Mrs. Fox: No.

Senator J. Walsh: The family would have had no interaction with the Garda Síochána.

 Mrs. Fox: No.

Senator J. Walsh: So dealing with the Garda was a new experience.

Mrs. Fox: Yes.

  Senator J. Walsh: I refer to page 55 of the report which states that Mrs. Fox had regular contact with Garda Larry Crowe of Dundalk during the investigation in 1976.  It states that Mrs. Fox was annoyed at the regularity of his visits, largely because of the nature of his line of questioning, but it states she found his visits gave her an opportunity to at least ascertain what was happening regarding the case.  Will Mrs. Fox tell the sub-committee how often that garda visited her in 1976?

Mrs. Fox: I would say, off and on-----

Chairman: The Senator should not refer to the actions of individual gardaí at this time.

  Senator J. Walsh: He is named in the report.

Chairman: I am aware of that but I do not wish the Senator to do so.

Senator J. Walsh: How regular were the visits?

Mrs. Fox: Off and on for a good few weeks.

Senator J. Walsh: I want to ascertain the number of gardaí who interacted with Mrs. Fox - but without naming them - and the content of the interviews.  The sub-committee needs to be given an indication of the line of questioning as this is an important matter and formed a significant part of the family's submission to the sub-committee.

Chairman: I remind the Senator to do this without naming people.

Senator J. Walsh: On the question of the naming of gardaí, I ask that the family give those names to their solicitor who could then pass them on to the sub-committee's counsel, Mr. Hugh Mohan SC.  They could then be considered in private session.

  I am trying to elicit the nature of the interviews and how the family has arrived at its strong feelings in that regard.

Chairman: There will be another opportunity later.  We should conclude questioning Mrs. Fox now.

Senator J. Walsh: It has been indicated that someone else will reply to that question.

  Mr. Joe Tiernan visited Mrs. Fox in October 1995 and gave her information on the possible identities of suspects for the murder.  I believe the names and the area which he stated were incorrect.  Prior to that visit -----

  Chairman: I ask the Senator not to refer to anyone by name.

Senator J. Walsh: I am not naming any names.

  Chairman: The Senator has referred to Joe Tiernan, the journalist.  I do not wish any criticism to be applied to any named individual and I would prefer if the Senator did not mention any names.

Senator J. Walsh: A reporter visited Mrs. Fox in October 1995 and indicated the identities of possible suspects.  Prior to this visit, had she ever received any indication that loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for her brother's death?

Mrs. Fox: No.

Senator J. Walsh: The reporter did not name the source of his information at that stage but he subsequently named that source to Mrs Fox.  The source was a garda.  Did Mrs Fox have any subsequent contact with that garda with regard to his information?

  Mrs. Fox: No.

  Chairman: I thank Mrs Fox.  I know how difficult this is for her and the sub-committee appreciates her attendance.

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