Government should implement Barron report and end trauma for Ludlow family – Adams

This week, 14 years ago, (3 November 2005) the Interim Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow was published. The following March 2006 the final report by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights was published.

That report recommended that the government establish two Commissions of Investigation into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow. The government has refused. The family took their case to the High Court seeking a Judicial Review of the Minister’s decision which they lost. Their appeal will be heard in the New Year.

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today called again on the Government to establish the two Commissions of Investigation recommended by the Final Report on the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow.

Gerry Adams said:

“The family of Seamus Ludlow have been campaigning for truth about his murder for over 40 years. They have been frustrated in this by the British government and its state agencies who colluded in the murder. They have also been blocked by the failure of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments that have refused to honour the recommendations of the Barron report and the Joint Oireachtas Committee.

      Members of the Ludlow Family on a recent visit to Leinster House

 

Seamus Ludlow was shot dead by a UVF/Red Hand Commando/UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment) gang in May 1976. He was aged 47. His body was thrown into a ditch near his Thistle Cross, Dundalk home. 

In 1979 the RUC identified four suspects it believed were responsible for the killing. Nineteen years later, in February 1998, the four were finally arrested. Two confessed to killing Seamus Ludlow during interviews with the RUC. They were released without charge. The North’s then Director of Public Prosecutions decided in 1999 not to prosecute the four. Among the four men were two serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment.

The Gardaí never interviewed the four men and never told the family. The first the family heard of the four suspects was in a newspaper report.

The Ludlow family earlier this year went to the Belfast High Court and successfully challenged the decision not to prosecute and the failure to provide reasons for this.

The Irish government should now move to establish the two outstanding Commissions of Investigation – which it has thus far refused to do – which were recommended by the Final Report on the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights in March 2006. That report expressed its “disappointment at the lack of co-operation from the British authorities … the role collusion played in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.”

Note to Editor:

The Sub-Committee recommends that a commission of investigation be established to investigate the following:

  • Whether the evidence collected at the scene of the murder of Seamus Ludlow in 1976 was available in 1979 and if not, why not?
  • Why were credible leads given to the Gardaí by the Northern Ireland police force not followed up?
  • Why were the four named suspects not interviewed?
  • Was there a policy in existence not to interview suspects in Northern Ireland for crimes committed in this jurisdiction?
  • Was a decision taken not to actively pursue the investigation of the murder of Seamus Ludlow and if so, who took that decision and why?

 

The Sub-Committee recommends that a commission of investigation be established to investigate the following:

  • What documents were created or maintained by An Garda Siochana including security intelligence C3 Section in relation to the murder of Seamus Ludlow?
  • Where are those documents?
  • If those documents are not available for inspection what is the reason for this?
  • What documents were created or maintained by the Department of Justice (and Departments of An Taoiseach, Foreign Affairs and Defence, in respectof the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Security), in relation to the murder of Seamus Ludlow?
  • Where are those documents?
  • If those documents are not available for inspection what is the reason for this?

Adams Commends Ludlow Family

Sinn Féin Teachta Dala for Louth, Gerry Adams has praised the family of Seamus Ludlow as they begin distributing the information leaflet launched last month. 
 
Gerry Adams said;
 
“For 43 years the family of Seamus Ludlow have faced a wall of silence and misinformation in their quest to get to the truth of the circumstances surrounding his murder. 
 

“In 1979 the RUC notified Gardaí of four suspects it believed were responsible for the killing. 

“Shockingly the Gardaí failed to act on this information and they did not inform the family

“21 years later in 1998, the four were arrested by the RUC. Two confessed to killing Seamus during interviews. They were released without charge and later that year the North’s Director of Public Prosecutions declined to take them to court. Among the four men were two serving officers in the Ulster Defence Regiment.

“In March 2006 the final report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow (Barron Report) was published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights.

“The Commission accused the Gardaí of having treated the family in “an appalling manner.” And it recommended that the Government establish two Commissions of Investigation regarding Seamus Ludlow’s murder.

 
“In the intervening years successive Irish Governments have refused to establish these Commissions. 
 
“This is unacceptable. 
 
“In the coming weeks I will bring a motion to the Dáil calling for the immediate establishment of the two Commissions of Investigation recommended by Justice Barron. 
 
“Sinn Féin has written to every TD asking them to co sign this motion and to support it when it is introduced. 
 
“The Ludlow family have also written to all TDs requesting their support. 
 
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú added;
 
“Last month a motion I brought to Louth County Council which also called for the implementation of the Barron recommendations received unanimous support across the chamber. 
 
“In fact my motion was co signed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors. 
 
“I hope this is replicated in Leinster House.”
 

Dáil Motion on Seamus Ludlow case prepared

At the press conference at which the family of Seamus Ludlow launched their leaflet campaign Louth TD Gerry Adams  offered to seek support for a Dáil motion in support of the campaign.

Following discussions with the family of Seamus Ludlow they have agreed the text of a draft  motion which is being shared with other Dáil parties and Louth representatives.

Gerry Adams said:

“I want to commend the courage and resolve of the family of Seamus Ludlow who have been campaigning for truth and justice for 43 years.  Despite the many lies that were told and the obstacles that have been placed in their way the Ludlow family have remained steadfast.

The report by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights into the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow (Barron Report) published in March 2006 called for two Commissions of Investigation to be established.

Sinn Féin has begun the process of speaking to the other Dáil parties seeking their support for the motion. Our objective is to secure cross party support for the motion which is calling on the government to implement the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for two Commissions of Investigation.”

Adams raises Seamus Ludlow case with Taoiseach

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised the High Court action which has been commenced by the family of Seamus Ludlow.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Final Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice in 2006 concluded that Commissions of Investigation were needed into important aspects of the Seamus Ludlow case.

Despite this clear statement of support for Commissions of Investigation there has been a refusal by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments to do this.

As a consequence of the state’s actions or lack of action, the Ludlow family, who have been seeking truth for 40 years, are today in the High Court.

It is unacceptable that the government is actively blocking the creation of Commissions of Investigation as recommended and has forced a family to endure a High Court action.”

Notes for information:

Seamus Ludlow was shot dead in May 1976 by unionist paramilitaries.

His case was one of those investigated by the Barron Commission and was the subject of the Final Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow in March 2006.

At that time the Commission concluded that collusion had occurred involving the loyalist gang which included two officers from the Ulster Defence Regiment. It also recorded its disappointment at the lack of co-operation by the British authorities.