Northern Ireland news

Seamus Ludlow: Family of murdered Irish forestry worker vow to continue fight for justice

Seamus Ludlow was shot dead in Co Louth in 1976
Deborah McAleese, Press Association

THE family of a forestry worker murdered 41 years ago have vowed to continue their fight for justice after they lost a legal appeal for the Irish Government to establish two committees of inquiry into his killing.

Relatives of Seamus Ludlow (47) - whose body was found in a ditch with bullet wounds near his home on the Cooley peninsula, Co Louth, on May 1 1976 - launched legal proceedings in a bid to force the Minister for Justice to open inquiries into the State's handling of investigations into his death.

His family have long maintained Mr Ludlow was an innocent victim of a loyalist death squad comprising a Red Hand Commando and two members of the UDR.

They believe gardaí were complicit in spreading false rumours that Mr Ludlow was killed for being an IRA informant and that some family members had prior knowledge it was planned.

The family wanted a High Court declaration that a decision by the justice minister not to launch an inquiry was unlawful.

However, the High Court in Dublin denied the motion yesterday.

High Court Judge, Justice Mary Faherty, said it was "not for the court to stand in the shoes of the decision maker".

Speaking outside court, Mr Ludlow's nephew Michael Donaghan said: "I'm disheartened. It would appear we were comprehensively ruled out. But we are not finished. We keep coming back.

"We know we are in the right. We have had law, we haven't had justice. We'll keep going until we get that justice."

A parliamentary committee in Dublin recommended more than 10 years ago that two commissions of investigation be held into the murder and subsequent events, after an official judge-led report damned the original botched Garda probe.

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