Inquest to open into Ludlow murder
Inquest to open into Ludlow murder

The family of Louth man Seamus Ludlow will move closer to uncovering the full facts surrounding his murder when a new inquest is opened next week.

County Louth Coroner Ronan Maguire is due to hold a preliminary hearing into the forestry worker’s death in Dundalk on Tuesday morning.

It is expected that his work will be hampered because he will lack the power to compel witnesses to attend, including RUC policemen who worked on the case.

However, he has received a copy of an internal inquiry conducted by Chief Superintendent Ted Murphy into the original murder investigation, which was wound up within weeks.

Tuesday’s hearing will come three years after Mr Maguire received an instruction from the Attorney General Rory Brady to hold a fresh inquest into Mr Ludlow’s killing.

Relatives had called for a new inquest after the gardai neglected to inform them that the original hearing had been scheduled for August 19 1976.

Mr Ludlow, a 47-year-old bachelor, was abducted on his way home from a night out by a loyalist gang and shot three times before being dumped in a laneway north of Dundalk in May 1976.

In the early stages of their investigation, gardai blamed the IRA for the killing but emerging evidence over the years implicated unionist paramilitaries and members of the British Crown forces.

Four people were arrested and questioned in 1988 in connection with the abduction and murder but no charges have ever been brought against anyone.

His family have continued to allege that state forces on both sides of the border worked together to shield the killers.

Meanwhile, the Barron Report on the murder has still not been published.

The Dublin Administration has been considering the contents of the report since Judge Henry Barron submitted it last year.

A Dublin government source said officials remained concerned about the possible repercussions of publishing certain names contained in the document.

It is understood the names include those of the chief murder suspects, investigating gardai and witnesses. The report will be presented to the Dublin parliament before being considered by members of the parliamentary Joint committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights.

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