'He was quiet and a real gentleman' - Small community left reeling from Cavan tragedy
The small close-knit community of Windgap, Co Kilkenny is reeling after Alan Hawe, a local teacher and former GAA handball champion, has been identified as the father-of -three suspected of killing himself and his family in an apparent murder suicide in Co Cavan today.
Matt Doran, chairman of Kilkenny County Council, confirmed that Mr Hawe is the same man in his 40s who has been named as the chief suspect in the horrific incident that unfolded at a house in Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff this morning.
Five members of the same family, including a man in his 40s, a woman in her 30s, and three boys aged 6, 11 and 13 were found dead in their home at approximately 11:20am. The bodies of the boys were found in their bedrooms while the parents were found downstairs.
The father was named as Alan Hawe, the children as Niall, Ryan and Liam Hawe. Their mother's name was Clodagh.
Mr Hawe was a teacher at Castlerahan primary school in Co Cavan.
Mr Doran said the local community is absolutely shocked and numbed by the tragedy.
He said the Hawe family “is one of the most respected in the region here” and that everyone is stunned by the tragic news.
He said Mr Hawe and his family were seen in the village only yesterday to attend a relative’s anniversary mass.
He said Mr Hawe would often visit his parents Stephen and Olive since moving from the area more than a decade ago, he said.
He described Mr Hawe as quiet gentleman who was very well respected in the area.
“He was a family man. Nobody here can understand it or come to terms with it,” he said.
“He was a very decent genuine young man. He never crossed anyone. He was quiet and a real gentleman,” he said.
“There wouldn’t be a person who had a bad word to say about him.”
Mr Hawe was a keen handballer for the local Windgap GAA club and once won the Leinster Junior Colleges Handball championship, prompting Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey to parade the Liam McCarthy cup at his local Christian Brothers School in Callan.