Monday 24 October 2016

Hawe brothers were all stabbed to death, post-mortems confirm

Published 01/09/2016 | 02:30

Mother-of-three Clodagh Hawe died from head injuries
Mother-of-three Clodagh Hawe died from head injuries

The three Hawe brothers were all stabbed to death in their bedrooms, post-mortem examinations show.

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Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) were attacked with a knife and died from the stab wounds, according to deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

Their mother Clodagh died from head wounds and her body was discovered downstairs in the sitting room of the family home at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.

Mr Hawe then took his own life in the hallway and his body was the first to be found when gardaí entered the house at 10.45am on Monday.

Dr Curtis carried out post-mortem examinations on the bodies of the two parents and one of the boys on Tuesday night and completed the others yesterday.

His findings will form part of a detailed report on the murder-suicide to be prepared by investigating gardaí for the coroner's court.

Meanwhile, officers are continuing to carry out inquiries to establish why Mr Hawe, a primary school vice principal, decided to kill himself and his family.

A note written by Mr Hawe shortly before he took his own life, and left in a sealed envelope on a table downstairs, is understood to be a key factor.

In the note, he is believed to have outlined some of the problems that had been torturing his mind in the hours leading up to the tragedy.

Gardaí will not be revealing the contents of the note in advance of the coroner's court hearing but the document is expected to open up a number of lines of inquiry in the coming days.

Prior to the incident, there had been no indication of Mr Hawe's troubled state. He was regarded by locals as a pillar of the community, who could be relied upon if anybody else had a problem.

Officers had been alerted on Monday morning after Clodagh Hawe's mother called to the house and found a note pinned to a door, which said she was not to go in but should call the gardaí. She drove to the house from her home in nearby Virginia after she had telephoned the house several times earlier in the morning.

She was due to have taken care of the boys while their parents, both teachers, at Castlerahan and Oristown national schools, prepared for the start of the new term.

Meanwhile, forensic examinations have been concluded on the notes as well as a knife and hatchet recovered by gardaí.

Irish Independent

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