Gardai Open Up Probe Of Seamus Ludlow Killing, 47 Years After His Death

It has taken nearly half a century, gallons of ink and buckets of sweat and tears but finally An Garda Siochana appears to have agreed to investigate the 1976 murder of Co Louth forestry worker Seamus Ludlow (47), whose body was found dumped over a hedge near his home on the northern outskirts of Dundalk on May 2 that year. He had been killed with bullets fired at the torso.

At the time Garda detectives blamed the IRA, claiming that Ludlow may have been killed because he witnessed something the IRA wanted to keep secret in the course of his work in nearby Ravendale forest, between Newry and Dundalk. The Gardai effectively branded Seamus Ludlow an informer, which he was not. In fact he was a random victim of a group of Loyalists who had ended up in Dundalk after a day of drinking.

The Gardai showed little interest in investigating the Ludlow murder and eventually dropped the probe altogether. The fact that the real killer was suspected of being an agent for one or other British intelligence agency has fuelled suspicions that the Gardai were acting in the interests of British intelligence, which would not have wanted one of its agents publicly embroiled is such activity.

This reporter, who wrote extensively about the Ludlow slaying for The Sunday Tribune, was this week contacted by a Garda detective seeking my co-operation in the new investigation, and I have agreed to help, as both the Ludlow family and a key witness to the killing have agreed is the right course to take.

The Garda action, which would have been approved by the Commissioner, Drew Harris, followed action by the Boutcher inquiry which took up the case because the suspected killer was a well known gunman with the Red Hand Commando, a small but violent Loyalist group usually linked to the UVF, from the Bangor area of Co. Down, and therefore qualified for investigation under Boutcher’s terms of reference.

With the permission of my main source for the story, Paul Hosking who witnessed Seamus Ludlow’s killing, I provided a lengthy statement to the Boutcher inquiry and the same statement will be provided to the Gardai. Hosking has always insisted that he was in the car that night with the killer and two off duty UDR soldiers by chance, teaming up with them in a Co Down pub on FA cup day when most of his drinking mates were away watching a soccer match. After several hours of drinking and driving around, the four decided to drive across the Border.

In Dundalk, Seamus Ludlow had just finished an evening of drinking in his local pub and was thumbing his way home when the Loyalists’ car stopped and offered him a lift, which he accepted. The car then took him to a lonely pathway off the main road, the driver, who went by the nickname ‘Mambo’, got out of the car, pulled out a handgun and shot him dead with three bullets to the torso. He and the two UDR men then threw his dead body over a hedge, where he was found next day by neighbours who had mounted a search for the missing man.

This story has been in public circulation for years now but still the Garda authorities took no action. It remains to be seen how thorough the new Garda probe will be and, in particular, whether it will examine the slanderous misbehaviour of the policemen who labelled Seamus Ludlow a terrorist, when he was just an innocent forestry worker in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One aspect of the case may not be probed. This is the strong suggestion that the gunman that night was on the books of one or other branches of British intelligence, in whose interests the original Gardai investigators lied and libelled a dead man.

2 responses to “Gardai Open Up Probe Of Seamus Ludlow Killing, 47 Years After His Death

  1. Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1 and commented:
    It’s about f***king timr

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