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Ludlow family launch legal proceedings against Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland

Ludlow family launch legal proceedings against Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland
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The family of Seamus Ludlow, a forestry worker from Mountpleasant who was murdered by Loyalists in 1976, have launched legal proceedings against the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, claiming it failed to investigate collusion allegations.

The Ludlow family yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of his death with a short ceremony at Thistle Cross, where his body was found, before presenting a letter to Gardai in Dundalk calling for justice in the case.

The letter has also been sent to the Minister For Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.

A talk was held in the Lisdoo yesterday evening. It was the last place Seamus was seen alive

Mr Ludlow was killed in disputed circumstances having left the pub late on May 2 1976. He was last seen at Smyth’s Garage, now Rice & Roddy.

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 told The Irish News 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 said.

“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.

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