Wednesday 26 April 2017

'Warm, loving, bright and capable' - Mother and sister of tragic Clodagh Hawe move to help women living in fear

Clodagh Hawe with her boys Liam, Niall and Ryan
Clodagh Hawe with her boys Liam, Niall and Ryan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

THE mother and sister of Clodagh Hawe have set up a crowd-funding page with the aim of helping Women's Aid, which works to end violence against women.

Mary Coll and Jacqueline Connolly are aiming to raise €50,000 - that would be enough to fund the Women's Aid helpline for more than 120 days.

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)

Clodagh (39) was brutally murdered, along with her three young sons, by husband and father Alan Hawe in a frenzied attack inside the family home in Cavan last August.

Alan Hawe, who worked as a vice principal, killed them all using knives and a hatchet before taking his own life.

The three boys, Liam, Niall and Ryan were all in their pyjamas when they were tragically killed.

Now Clodagh's mother and sister want to raise fund to help women who need it.

Alan Hawe with his wife Clodagh and their children Liam, 13, Niall, 11 and Ryan, six Credit: Hawes/Coll families/PA Wire
Alan Hawe with his wife Clodagh and their children Liam, 13, Niall, 11 and Ryan, six Credit: Hawes/Coll families/PA Wire

"Clodagh was strong and beautiful inside and out and was so loving," the family say on the crowd-funding page.

"She was warm, loving, bright and capable and she was bringing her boys Liam, Niall and Ryan, up to have those same qualities. They will live on and her strength will live on.

"We want their deaths to help other women who are living in fear and isolation in their own homes. So please support our fundraising appeal for Women’s Aid.

"One in five women in Ireland experience domestic abuse and many women are isolated and alone.

"Women’s Aid runs the 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 which is a confidential service for women affected by domestic abuse.

"Their work makes a life-changing difference and we hope the donations made in Clodagh’s name will help them be there to listen, to believe and to support women. Every single time."

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid said:

“We are very touched that Mary and Jacqueline have set up a fundraising appeal for Women’s Aid in memory of Clodagh and her children. Our work makes a life-changing difference and this donation page will help us be there to listen, to believe and to support women.

"Every single time. One in five women in Ireland experience domestic abuse. They need us to listen to them, and to support them and their children. Since our 24 Hour National Freephone Helpline extended to become a 24/7 service last January, we now answer an average of 41 calls a day.

"By the end of the year we’ll have answered over 5,000 additional calls during the new night-time service, with many more contacts through our website. But our resources are already extended to breaking point, and we need all the resources we can to keep the 24 Hour National Freephone Helpline open. It takes a lot of strength to call us. We have to be here for every woman who needs us, at any hour of the day or night.”

The page can be accessed here.

Earlier this week, Jacqueline and Mary spoke out for the first time since the devastating murders to urge victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.

Jacqueline and Mary from Virginia, Co Cavan, called on other families living with silent, secretive abuse to look for the dangers and seek help.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mirror, Jacqueline said: “We strongly believe that we must now be the voices for Clodagh and our wonderful boys.

“In time we will work to highlight domestic violence, especially the silent type where there are no obvious warning signs, just like Clodagh’s situation.

“She had no idea she was in danger. If she had known she would have acted to prevent it and safeguard the boys and herself.

“While Clodagh was planning their future, he was planning her end. While she had thoughts of sunshine and fun, he had murder on his mind.

“Clodagh never stood a chance and so the boys never stood a chance. Not once in their lives had they been vulnerable or in danger because Clodagh was just the best mother.”

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