The family of Co Louth man Seamus Ludlow, who was murdered during the Troubles, have launched a legal action aimed at compelling the State to establish commissions of investigation into his death.

Seamus Ludlow, aged 47, was murdered on May 1, 1976. His body was discovered in a lane near his home at Culfore, Dundalk, Co Louth. He had been shot.

A single man who worked as a forester, Mr Ludlow had no paramilitary connections, and no person has ever been charged in connection with his death.

The family, who have campaigned for years to have the murder investigated say there has always been speculation he was killed by either the British army or loyalist paramilitaries.

It is claimed that gardaí failed to follow up on an important line of inquiry namely that he was the victim of either loyalists or the British forces who mistook him for a senior member of the IRA.

Mr Ludlow’s family claim the investigation into his killing conducted by the gardaí was suspended after just three weeks.

Shortly after his murder, members of his family were also wrongly told he had been killed by the IRA for informing and also that Mr Ludlow’s family had known about the planned killing beforehand.

The IRA denied the killing.

The case came before the High Court yesterday when Ronan Lavery QC, for the family, said the family have always had a legitimate expectation that a commission of inquiry into the murder would be established.

Counsel said his clients are seeking an early date for the hearing of the matter.

Permission to bring the action was granted on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys. The judge made the matter returnable to a date next week.


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