30 March 2006

Garda re-open Ludlow murder case

BBC


Mr Justice Barron criticised the 1976 Ludlow murder investigation

The investigation into the murder of County Louth man Seamus Ludlow 30 years ago is to be re-opened, Irish police have said.

The move follows an Irish parliamentary report on Wednesday which called for the case to be re-investigated.

Mr Ludlow was shot in May 1976 after hitching a lift near his home in Dundalk. At that time gardai blamed his murder on the IRA.

The Ludlow family has said it wants an independent report into the killing.

They also want allegations of possible collusion between some gardai and loyalist paramilitaries examined.

In November 2005, a judicial report conducted in the Irish Republic named four loyalists suspected of the killing.

The report's author, Mr Justice Barron, criticised the garda investigation into the murder.

He said gardai had failed to question four Northern Ireland suspects named in the report because the RUC might have demanded reciprocal rights in the Irish Republic.

Arrests

In October 2005, an inquest into the 47-year-old forestry worker's killing was told that in 1998, the RUC arrested and questioned four men from County Down.

Two of them independently gave evidence of how and where the murder was committed.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland decided not to press charges.

The inquest was also told that in 1979, Irish police had the names and addresses of the same four men but Garda Headquarters did not allow the investigating officers to proceed.

Mr Justice Barron, a retired judge, said it was important to view these matters in the context that the period between 1976-1980 was "one of huge turmoil".

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