Family of murdered Seamus Ludlow launch legal proceedings against Police Ombudsman

No one has ever been charged with the murder of Seamus Ludlow 40 years ago
No one has ever been charged with the murder of Seamus Ludlow 40 years ago No one has ever been charged with the murder of Seamus Ludlow 40 years ago

FORTY years after the murder of a Co Louth forestry worker by loyalists, the family of Seamus Ludlow have launched legal proceedings against the Police Ombudsman, claiming it failed to investigate collusion allegations.

The Ludlow family yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of his death, presenting a letter to Gardai in Dundalk calling for justice in the case.

The letter has also been sent to the Republic's minister of justice, Frances Fitzgerald.

A talk was held in the Lisdoo Bar and Restaurant in Dundalk - the last place Seamus was seen alive - yesterday evening.

Mr Ludlow was killed in disputed circumstances near the town on May 2 1976.

The family announced yesterday it had instructed solicitors KRW Law to begin Judicial Review proceedings in Northern Ireland against the Police Ombudsman's failure to investigate allegations that RUC Special Branch had an informer working for them in the gang.

Solicitor Gavin Booth said the murder squad had been made up of "members of the British military's UDR and loyalist paramilitaries which enabled Seamus Ludlow's killers to walk free with full knowledge of these events less than one year after the murder".

"The family of Seamus Ludlow deserve the truth," he added.

"They have been failed for 40 years in both jurisdictions. Presently we are engaged in Judicial Review proceedings in Dublin against the Minister of Justice for her failure to hold a further Commission of Investigation and now we must take another Judicial Review against the Police Ombudsman in the north.

"The family of Seamus Ludlow are united and determined to get to the full truth of what happened. Both the British and Irish government must live up to their commitments for this family."

In January, the family were given leave to apply for a judicial review seeking an independent inquiry in the Republic into his death.

A parliamentary committee in Dublin recommended a state inquiry be held into the murder after the judge-led Barron report damned the original Garda investigation.

It found the RUC told the Gardaí in 1979 that it believed four named loyalists were involved in Mr Ludlow's killing, but the information was not pursued by Gardaí at the time.

No one has ever been charged with the murder of unmarried Mr Ludlow (47), who lived at Thistle Cross near Dundalk.

After his killing, members of the Garda wrongly told the Ludlow family that he had been shot by the IRA as an informer. The report said it was undisputed that two of the suspects in the murder were members of the UDR.