Saturday 3 December 2016

Family won't 'demonise' Alan as tragic Hawes to be laid to rest together

'Alan was kind and caring - we won't let that slip away... The family has no idea why this happened'

Greg Harkin

Published 01/09/2016 | 02:30

The Hawe family home in Cavan (Inset: mum Clodagh, dad Alan, and their three young sons)
The Hawe family home in Cavan (Inset: mum Clodagh, dad Alan, and their three young sons)
Alan Hawe with his sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6).

Tragic father Alan Hawe has been described as a "brilliant dad" and relatives have "no idea" what drove him to kill his entire family, including three young sons.

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All five members of the Hawe family who died in the Co Cavan horror will be laid to rest together, on the insistence of relatives.

Alan Hawe with his sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6).
Alan Hawe with his sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6).

School vice-principal Alan Hawe killed his wife Clodagh and their three boys at the family home in Barconey, 6km outside Ballyjamesduff, before taking his own life.

The bodies of sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) were found upstairs at the house on Monday morning.

Niall Hawe receives the ‘most improved player’ award at a recent ceremony for the the East Cavan Eagles Basketball Club
Niall Hawe receives the ‘most improved player’ award at a recent ceremony for the the East Cavan Eagles Basketball Club
Hearses arrive at The scene at Oakdene Barcroney Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan where the bodies of a family of five were found. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

A close friend of the family said relatives were keen to stress that they would not "demonise" Alan for what he did.

"Whatever happened to Alan, the Alan we knew was a kind, caring father and we won't let that slip away now. People will see that over the next few days and at the funeral on Saturday. Alan was loved by the family and they will show that.

"There has been a lot of speculation but we want to stress that what happened was totally out of character for Alan," said the friend.

"The family has no idea why this happened. Clodagh's mother Mary loved Alan as much as Clodagh and doted on the grandchildren.

Gardai investigate the discovery of the bodies. Photo: Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate the discovery of the bodies. Photo: Arthur Carron

"They had a great relationship and she has been left traumatised by what has happened.

"She is as mystified as everyone else locally and across the country as to why this happened, but she does not want Alan demonised in any way.

St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, where the funeral will take place on Saturday. Picture: Caroline Quinn
St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, where the funeral will take place on Saturday. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"There were no money issues in the family and he did not have any mental health issues, that is simply not the case."

Gardaí had not shared the content of a note found at the scene of the incident with relatives yet, said the friend.

"We don't know what was in it. The fact is we don't know why this happened or why Alan did what he did," said the friend.

"Clodagh was a beautiful woman, a really super mother who would do anything for those boys. Alan was a brilliant dad."

It is understood Clodagh's mother Mary told extended family members and friends that she wanted all five to be laid to rest together. She had a very close relationship with Alan.

The funeral Mass will be held at St Mary's Church in Castlerahan on Saturday at 4pm, just across the road from the school where Alan was vice-principal and where Niall and Ryan were pupils.

Clodagh and her boys had spent Sunday evening at Mary's house.

Earlier that day, the family had attended the Castlerahan Gaelic football match against Kingscourt. Afterwards, they went to a basketball match at Virginia College, where eldest son Liam played for the U16 East Cavan Eagles.

"There was no inkling whatsoever of any sort of problems," said the friend. "Clodagh was in great form and the boys were looking forward to going back to school. All the uniforms and books had been got and it was a normal, happy evening.

"There is this suggestion that perhaps family or friends had come across some sort of warning signs but that is simply not the case at all. There were no signs, not one."

Anyone affected by this article can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

Irish Independent

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