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The Sunday World (Southern edition), 9 May 1976:

Death in a lovers' lane...

Who killed Santa ClausSeamus Ludlow wearing his Santa Clause costume. - Photograph from The Sunday World, 9 May 1976.

Gardai call us in to help

Report: Sean Boyne

Pictures: Tom McElroy

A top detective spoke out dramatically at the weekend about the Good Samaritan work of murder victim Seamus Ludlow, the Dundalk children's Santa Claus, in the hope that anybody shielding the killers might be moved to contact the police. The eight S.A.S. men arrested last week have already been quizzed about the senseless killing last Sunday of the harmless workman, I learned reliably.

The head of the garda murder squad, Det. Supt. Dan Murphy, said if it was realised that Mr Ludlow was the man who played Santa Claus year after year to hundreds of children on a Dundalk housing estate, that some people who might not otherwise want to get involved might come forward with valuable information.

The bullet-riddled body of the popular 48-year-old bachelor was found dumped in a ditch near his home north of Dundalk at a boreen known as a "lovers Lane".

Supt. Murphy said that courting couples embarrassed about contacting the police could, if necessary, phone or write anonymously.

The S.A.S. men arrested by the gardai in the Omeath area some 15 miles from the leafy lane at Culfore where the body was found last Sunday afternoon, were questioned about the killing by Special Branch men at Dundalk garda station, reliable sources told me, but I understand that no fresh leads have emerged so far from this line of inquiry.


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Revised: December 04, 2005