Barron Report is Published
from the Conclusions of the Barron Report are printed here in italics.)
the Barron Report:
the Barron Report:
the Barron Report
into the murder of Seamus Ludlow from the
Oireachtas website (pdf file)
November 2005: It has been a long and hectic day for the Ludlow family,
and a day filled with drama, disappointment, shambolic confusion, and
finally relief that another phase of the Ludlow family's campaign for
justice has been completed.
last the private Barron Inquiry Report has been puiblished, under
parliamentary privilege by an oireachtas committee, more than
twelve months after it was received by the Dublin government.
Report covers a number of related matters, which can be summarised as
circumstances and perpetrators of the killing.
extent and adequacy of the Garda investigations.
reasons why no prosecutions took place.
relating to the non-attendance of the Ludlow family at the first
inquest (19 August 1976).
liaison with the Ludlow family.
British Army questioning of the late Kevin Donegan.
of IRA involvement in Seamus Ludlow's murder.
all accounts the 100-page Report is complete, there being no deletions
or redactions. It has never been the Ludlow family policy to
publicly name the chief suspects for the murder of Seamus Ludlow, even
though their names have been known to the family for several years. They
are named here now because Mr Justice Barron has seen fit to publish
them in his Report.
facts and circumstances as they appear to the Inquiry have been set
out in this report. They indicate that Seamus Ludlow was picked up
by a car near the bridge on the Dundalk to Newry road; that this car
was driven by James Fitzsimmons and contained three other passengers
- Richard Long, Samuel Carroll and Paul Hosking. Information
obtained by the RUC from Hosking suggested that it was Carroll who
shot Seamus Ludlow. The Inquiry has not been in a position to test
the veracity of this allegation.
to the cause of the murder: it would seem to have been a random,
sectarian killing of a blameless catholic civilian by loyalist
extremists. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Seamus
Ludlow was known to his attackers, or that he had any republican
sympathies which might have led to his being targetted by loyalist
above version of events is based on the information given to the RUC
by Hosking and Fitzsimmons: Carroll and Long have consistently
denied any knowledge or involvement in the murder. However, the
inconsistencies and gaps in the stories told by Hosking and
Fitzsimmons, together with the fact that they may have been seeking
to minimise their own role, means that the notes of their interviews
should be treated with caution" From
the Barron Report (Conclusions: page 83)
in the day, the Ludlow family were not at all happy with the way they
were being treated by the government and the oireachtas committee
regarding the timing and the important detail of invitation or
non-invitation to the event.
of Wednesday (2 November) evening the family were being led to believe
that the Barron Report would not after all be published until Friday
morning. Then, late Wednesday Jimmy Sharkey was informed by a journalist
the the Report would indeed be published on Thursday. No formal
notification was forthcoming from the government or from the oireachtas
apparent snub angered the Ludlow family! In the absence of such an
official invitation it was decided that the Ludlow family would not be
going to Dublin. The Ludlow family would not allow themselves to face
press queries about a Report they had not seen!
Sharkey and his uncle Kevin Ludlow spoke out against this governmental failure
on local LMFM Radio, and his anger got through to the authorities in
Dublin - they must have been asked to comment on their failure.
it a breakdown of communications or was there something more sinister
involved? These were the questions that came to mind.
was seen as yet further proof of the state's contempt for the Ludlow
family and consistent with the contempt the Ludlow family have been
facing for almost thirty years now.
government was clearly shaken by the press and family reaction to their
mishandling of the Ludlow family's interests. Michael McDowell,
Minister for Justice, addressed the issue with an announcement in
Leinster House. He said that copies of the Report would be rushed up to
Dundalk for the family before 3.00pm. He regretted that the family had
not been kept informed.
is hard to see why this questioning (of the late Kevin Donegan,
Seamus Ludlow's brother-in-law) should not have been a matter of
greater concern to Gardai. The questioning may have taken place
outside the State, but the crime to which it related happened within
is important about the questioning of Kevin Donegan by British Army
officers, not members of the RUC, is that it raises a suspicion that
the British Army had information concerning the murder of Seamus
Ludlow, and at the same time was anxious to discover whether such
information was available to the Gardai or the family. In view of
the fact that when information was later received that there were
four suspects, two of whom were members of the UDR - a regiment of
the British Army - the suspicion that the British Army was
immediately aware of the circumstances of the murder arises.
was indicated in its correspondence with the Secretary of State for
Nothern Ireland, the Inquiry finds it difficult to accept that there
are no written records relating to this incident in the archives of
the British Army." From the Barron
Report (Conclusions - pages 86-87)
was then decided that Ludlow family members would go to Dublin.The
family was represented by Kevin Ludlow (brother of the late Seamus
Ludlow), and nephews Jimmy, Michael and Nicholas Sharkey, and Michael
of Seamus Ludlow were really looking forward to getting the Barron
Report. Imagine their dismay when, while still travelling to Dublin,
they received a phone-call from solicitor James MacGuill, informing them
that there may be no publication of the Report that day after all, it
could be postponed until Friday.
made the relatives of Seamus Ludlow really angry, not knowing what games
were being played in Dublin. They were determined to go on to Dublin and
raise pure hell until they got the Barron Report, or at least a
satisfactory explanation for the latest setback. On arriving in Dublin
they found that the media people waiting at the hotel, were just as
puzzled and angry as they were. Also present was Margaret Urwin,
Secretary of Justice For the Forgotten, representing victims and
bereaved of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974.
was nearly two hours later before confirmation came through that the
oireachtas committee would be publishing the Barron Report at 5.00pm.
The Ludlow family and their solicitor would receive copies of the Report
at 4.00pm so that they could read through it before it was published
under parliamentary privilege.
family are understandably angry at the fact that the information
concerning suspects received by Gardai in 1979 was not made known to
them until the Sunday Tribune published the articles on the matter in
1998. However, it is clear that none of the local officers (with the
exception of Supt Courtney, D/Sgt Corrigan and the senior officers to
whom they reported) were aware of this information, at the time or
subsequently. The failure of the investigating officers to inform the
family is rooted in the far more serious failure to follow up the
information by having the suspects questioned." From
the Barron Report (Conclusions - page 86)
published 100-page Barron Report names all of the loyalist suspects and
Judge Barron is highly critical of the Gardai for their failure to go
after the suspects after 1979.
it names the four suspects, the Barron Report has not been able to
clearly establish who killed Seamus Ludlow, but Justice Barron did say
that the Dundalk forestry worker's death was a random sectarian killing
of an innocent Catholic by loyalist extremists.
Justice Barron says the murder of Seamus Ludlow was never properly
the evidence available to it, the Inquiry believes that the only
credible explanation for the failure to pursue these suspects is that a
direction was given which led the investigating officer, D/Supt Dan
Murphy to abandon plans to have the suspects interviewed outside the
to why such a direction mifght have been issued, only one credible
explanation has been offered - that it was done in order to avoid a
siuation where gardai might feel obliged to reciprocate by allowing RUC
officers to attend interviews of suspects in the State." From
the Barron Report (Conclusions: page 83)
Most damning of all he alleges gardai were prevented from questioning
the four loyalist suspects in the North because of fears that the RUC
might have demanded reciprocal rights in the Republic. Political
considerations were allowed to dictate the failure of the murder
Barron's report (at page 14) reveals that "according to the
investigation report, there was a Garda checkpoint in operation near the
Newry Bridge during the relevant time. Registration numbers of cars
noted during this time were followed up (mostly with the RUC) but
nothing emerged to connect any of them with the murder."
seems extraordinary that the killers' car passed through this Garda
checkpoint, situated in the vicinity of the Lisdoo Arms bar, both going
into Dundalk and heading back out towards the border. They must have
stopped to lift Seamus Ludlow within sight of the gardai on duty!
distinctive northern registered two-door Datsun sports type car,
carrying four male occupants, aged in their twenties and thirties,
should have aroused Garda suspicion. These were dangerous times along
the border with south Armagh, and it was only six months since the
murderous loyalist car bombing
of Dundalk in which two local men lost their lives. It would seem clear
that this car should have prompted some inquiry in the hours after the
body of Seamus Ludlow was discovered.
Barron Report does not answer several questions still asked by the
Ludlow family. Was the loyalist killers' car stopped by the Garda
outside the Lisdoo Arms? Did the Garda take note of the car and its
registration number? Did the Garda talk to the driver and any of his
passengers? Were any inquiries made about the car with the RUC in the
aftermath of the murder?
such inquiries were made the RUC would have had cause to ask why the
driver, a 38-year-old serving UDR soldier from Killyleagh, north County
Down, was in Dundalk on the night of Seamus Ludlow's murder. If the RUC
failed to pass on such information to the Garda then clearly that force
has serious questions to answer. It could mean that the RUC must have
known from the beginning that loyalist UDR soldiers were involved in the
murder of Seamus Ludlow.
Barron does not report any evidence that this car was noted by the Garda
or investigated in the aftermath of the murder! If the Garda had noted
the killers' car passing through the checkpoint this would have given
cause for the suspects to have been investigated many years before 1998.
Justice Barron reports that files are missing from Gardai Headquarters
and the Department of Justice. In one instance he offers incomplete
information about one file that could indicate that the Garda and the
RUC had advance information about this murder raid into Dundalk!
Barron reports (on page 7): "Some garda documents are either
missing or were never brought into existence. Foe example, there are no
Security and Intelligence (C3) files on three of the suspects about whom
information was received from the RUC in 1979. There was a file on the
fourth suspect that had been opened in 1976 as a result of unrelated
information received from the RUC, but unfortunately it is
Justice Barron only expanded upon this missing file on 16 February 2006
in answer to a specific question at a hearing of the Oireachtas Justice
Sub-Committee. He referred to an RUC letter, dated 27 April 1976,
received by the Garda, just a few days before the murder of Seamus
their completed Final Report (March 2006) the Oireachtas Sub-Committee
comment: "During the hearings it emerged that a letter was
communicated to the Gardai naming one of the four suspects as a person
in whom the police should take an interest. The letter pre-dated the
murder of Seamus Ludlow. On behalf of the family, Mr McGuill said that
they had not adverted to the existence of this document since it was
only obliquely referred to elswhere. He pointed out that it was not
addressed in Mr Justice Barron's report."
letter from the RUC did not expressly suggest that any of the seven
loyalist suspects named, including the one who is now believed to be a
suspect for Seamus Ludlow's murder, was engaged in cross-border activity
or posed any danger to people south of the Irish border, but given that
the RUC saw fit to identify them as dangerous individuals at that
partcular time, it can be suggested that there may have been prior
knowledge of the raid into Dundalk.
is nothing to suggest that the Garda did anything to verify the
movements of the persons named by the RUC so as to eliminate them from
their inquiries. There is nothing to suggest that gardai manning
checkpoints in and around Dundalk were given information about any of
the individuals, such as photographs and descriptions, or asked to look
out for them.
the Garda ask the RUC to investigate the movements of any of these
individuals in the immediate aftermath of the discovery of the body of
Seamus Ludlow? Could anything have been done that could have prevented
the death of Seamus Ludlow? Unfortunately, the Barron Report, which does
not refer to the RUC letter in any detail, completely fails to offer
answers to these important questions.
the importance of this letter from the RUC, and the serious implications
it has for this case, it seems rather strange that Mr Justice Barron did
not give sufficient details of it in his written report. Given, also,
that the letter and any other corespondence related to it are lost it is
difficult to get an accurate view of exactly what the Garda knew in 1976
at least one of the loyalist suspects in the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
this is the very reason for why this and other important files and
documents are lost!
Justice Barron points the finger of blame for the
failure to prosecute at Laurence Wren, a former Assistant Garda
Barron Report says the decision was probably made by Deputy Commissioner
Laurence Wren, but that he was likely to have discussed it with senior
gardaí and with the Department of Justice.
the time of Seamus Ludlow's killing in 1976 and until 1979, Deputy
Commissioner Wren was in charge of the C3 Security & Intelligence
section of the gardaí.
a letter sent three weeks before publication, Mr Wren warned Mr Justice
Barron that he had no intention of accepting the conclusions about his
role that appear in the published Report. He wrote: "If the report
is eventually published as it now stands, I will be compelled to take
corrective action to clear my name."
an interview broadcast on RTÉ Radio, Mr Wren said he had never heard of
the four suspects in the case being named before he went before Mr
Justice Henry Barron for his report.
to the Barron Report, Mr Wren was likely not to have pursued the men
because the RUC might demand reciprocal rights in the Republic.
speaking on 4 November 2005, Mr Wren said that it was a well-established
policy that in political cases police did not cross the border in either
the Barron report, the former Garda Commissioner, Pat Byrne,
acknowledged that garda management was 'somewhat remiss' in doing its
job. He said the failure to pursue the four men lay with all senior
Mr Wren said the matter had not been his direct concern and therefore he
did not consider himself to have had a part in this failure.
appears that Mr Wren is expected to carry the can for what was
undoubtedly a collective decision which may well have been authorised by
others above him in the gardaí and the Department of Justice. These
faceless others hope to avoid being exposed for their role in this
scandalous injustice against the late Seamus Ludlow and his family.
appears to be no justification for the failure to notifty Kevin
Ludlow of the date of the inquest into his brother's death. Given
the nature and circumstances of his brother's death, other family
members should also have been notified.
failure to notify Kevin Ludlow is partially explained by the fact
that he was on holiday in County Cavan at the time. But this does
not excuse whichever Garda member was deputed to notify him of the
time and date of the inquest. If the member concerned failed to make
contact with him, he should have persisted. He should certainly have
reported this failure to his superiors.
identity of the member or members who were given responsibility for
contacting Kevin Ludlow remains unknown. It should have been expected
that as the murder occurred in Dromad district, a Garda officer
attached to Dromad station would have been instructed to notify
Kevin Ludlow. If so, that would explain why, when Kevin Ludlow went
to Dundalk Garda Station, no-one there had any relevant knowledge.
On the other hand, in his letter of 16 January 1997, local Garda
Sergeant Jim Gannon said that the task was given to a member
attached to Dundalk Garda Station.
to Kevin Ludlow's wife, she was told by Gardai that the inquest
could not be put back. There is no explanation as to why she was
told that, since the question of whether or not to postpone was a
matter for the coroner to decide; not the police.
the end, the fact that the inquest proceeded reflects a belief that, as
the cause of death was undisputed; the inquest procedure was a
formality. While this was technically true, the decision to proceed in
the absence of family members caused them unnecessary hurt and
annoyance, at a time of extraordinary sadness and difficulty in their
lives." From the Barron Report
(Conclusions - page 86)
Justice Barron did not find evidence of collusion, but that is hardly
surprising since the British authorities in the North gave him
practically no cooperation, and many files in Dublin are missing,
incomplete or were never mmaintained. He was not allowed to find the
evidence of collusion. All the more reason in the Ludlow family's view,
for a public inquiry.
after the Barron Report's publication, and many press, TV and Radio
interviews the Ludlow family group went to the RTE studios where Jimmy
Sharkey and James MacGuill, (Ludlow family solicitor) and Paul O'Connor
(of the Pat Finucane Centre, Derry) were interviewed on air on the Prime
all of these interviews - outside Leinster House, at Buswell's Hotel, or
at RTE - the Ludlow family maintained that the Barron Report cries out
for a fully independent public inquiry as the only way to get to all the
facts of the case and to finally secure justice for the late Seamus
involved in the next year's sub-committee investigation,
which began in open hearing with oral evidence from the Ludlow family
on 24 January 2006, warned that senior Garda officers of that time and
today would face "very tough questions".
Fáil TD Sean Ardagh, chairman of the committee and the
newly established sub-committee, refused to comment on the
Barron Report's content or pre-empt the findings of the
Ardagh said: "Committee members only received this report at
11.30am today and have not had a chance to consider it fully."
Justice Barron said his job was made more difficult as documents were
lost, destroyed or misplaced and key witnesses were ill, dead or
unable to remember important events.
Commissioner Noel Conroy accepted that there "were issues"
in the original investigation. "In recent years, An Garda Síochána
has taken whatever actions were available to right the situation and
in this regard co-operated fully with the Barron and other inquiries
and will continue to do so," he said.
the Ludlow family's press release
of 5 November 2005 in response to the publication of the Barron
5 November 2005, in a Belfast
Telegraph exclusive report, Michael McHugh, spoke to Paul Hosking,
one of the four loyalist suspects named by Mr Justice Henry Barron in his
private inquiry report that was published under parliamentary privilege by
an oireachtas committee on Thursday.
Hosking admits to being present when Seamus Ludlow was murdered, but
he maintains his innocence of the crime.
an extraordinary statement Mr Hosking:
he was tired of having the finger pointed at him and added that he may
make a submission to the Irish Justice Committee, which will consider the
report in January.
has been going on for years and I am fed up with it," he said.
"I feel like I am the victim, it is awful for my family and they have
gone through hell."
the Ludlow family is sorry to hear that Mr Hosking's family has suffered,
he should be reminded that the victims here are the murdered Seamus
Ludlow, the innocent man he and his companions left lying in a County
Louth lane, and his family who have lived
through thirty years of loss and pain, aggravated by lies and
smears which helped keep him and his three Red Hand Commando/UDR companions free from justice.
read the article go here
in the Irish Independent, on the same day, columnist Maurice Hayes,
commenting on the publication of the Barron Report, concludes with the
the time has come to draw a line under the past to agree to a closure of
the books and to move on from there.
kind advice is always welcome, Mr Hayes should know that the Ludlow family
takes advice from their legal representative and their friends, and not
from columnists in the Irish Independent who know nothing of the
loss this family has suffered.
the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file) or:
these excerpts from the published Barron Report:
WORK OF THE COMMISSION
RECEIVED FROM RUC
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (NORTHERN IRELAND)
OF LUDLOW-SHARKEY FAMILY
ALLEGATIONS OF IRA INVOLVEMENT IN LUDLOW MURDER
Mr Justice Henry Barron (1926-2010), a member of Ireland's tiny Jewish
community, sat on the Supreme Court from 1997 until his retirement in 2000. He
passed away on 25 February 2010, aged 83. See his obituary
on Times online.
the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)
the Final Oireachtas Sub-Committee Report on the murder of Seamus Ludlow
from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)
Find below links to excerpts of the transcript of 24 January 2006,
the first day of
hearings before the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Justice:
- Morning session:
10.00 am - Members of the Ludlow family
also, the following press coverage of the publication of the
private Barron Report:
released by Justice for the Forgotten
online, 3 November 2005: 'Barron
report to be published'
also, the following press coverage of yesterday's publication of the
private Barron Report:
Irish Independent, 4 November 2005: Ludlow
family insists public inquiry is crucial to getting justice for their
News online: 4 November 2005: Call
for public inquiry into 1976 murder
News online, 4 November 2005: Wren
rejects Barron report finding
Times, 4 November 2005: Ludlow
report criticises Garda investigation
Telegraph, 4 November 2005 Relatives
of man killed by loyalists urge police action probe
Examiner - Editorial, 4 November 2005: Family
needs a full-scale inquiry
The Irish News,
5 November 2005: Ludlow
family call for public inquiry into death
THE SEAMUS LUDLOW APPEAL FUND
Bank of Ireland
78 Clanbrassil Street
Account No. 70037984
Ludlow family supports the campaign by the Rooney and Watters families of
Dundalk for an inquiry into the murderous Dundalk Bombing of 19 December
1975 which resulted in the sectarian murder of Jack Rooney and Hugh
Watters. Further information can be accessed at their campaign
you can visit:
Pat Finucane Centre
Justice for the Forgotten
are welcome to leave messages on our
new Bravenet guestmap Guest
Book. You can indicate your country or
state of origin by using the map supplied.
© 2010 the Ludlow family. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 22, 2010