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 Ombudsman - Ed 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)
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:
I welcome Mrs. Eileen Fox, sister of Seamus, and thank her for coming.
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.
Were there many around the family for a long time after the murder?
Were they sympathetic?
Fox: No way.
Perhaps we will have a dialogue with Deputy Finian McGrath and Senator Jim Walsh
to broaden out matters.
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?
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?
Fox: It was terrible.
F. McGrath: Basically the family was turned upside
down with the shock and the trauma, is that so?
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
Fox: They were not very nice any time they called to
me. The way they carried on was
terrible. Just one called.
F. McGrath: From a public service point of view, as
far as the family was concerned, they were not treated properly and fairly.
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?
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
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
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?
F. McGrath: From where did the story of him being an "informer"
come? What was the source of that
story? Why did that arise?
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.
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?
B. Ludlow: Not until later.
Fox: To tell the truth, I do not know.
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.
F. McGrath: Was there any question of that?
Fox: From the Garda?
F. McGrath: From anybody?
Fox: I never heard any.
F. McGrath: Even though sectarian and security force
killings were fairly common at the time.
Fox: I did not hear it from the Garda.
I heard it said, but not from the Garda.
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?
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?
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
F. McGrath: Does the family want an end to the fudging
and messing around with the issue?
F. McGrath: Thank you.
Mrs. Fox indicate to the sub-committee where she lived in relation to Thistle
Cross which is where Seamus lived?
Fox: I lived next door to where he lived - I thought
the Senator meant where he was murdered.
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?
J. Walsh: The family would have had no interaction with the Garda Síochána.
J. Walsh: So dealing with the Garda was a new
Fox: I would say, off and on-----
The Senator should not refer to the actions of individual gardaí at this
I am aware of that but I do not wish the Senator to do
J. Walsh: How regular were the visits?
Fox: Off and on for a good few weeks.
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.
I remind the Senator to do this without naming people.
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.
There will be another opportunity later.
We should conclude questioning Mrs. Fox now.
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 -----
J. Walsh: I am not naming any names.
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?
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
I Top I
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