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'We're confident we'll get access to files' - Family of murdered Clodagh Hawe to meet with Garda Commissioner

 

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The home of the Hawe family. Inset: Clodagh Hawe (39) pictured with her sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6)

The home of the Hawe family. Inset: Clodagh Hawe (39) pictured with her sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6)

The home of the Hawe family. Inset: Clodagh Hawe (39) pictured with her sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6)

The family of Clodagh Hawe have met with the Minister for Justice to discuss her murder.

Cavan teacher Clodagh, 39, was killed along with her three young sons by her husband and the children's father Alan Hawe in August 2016.

Her sister Jacqueline Connolly and mother Mary Coll met with minister Charlie Flanagan today to discuss retrieving a Garda file to help them understand why Hawe, 41, killed Clodagh and Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and six year-old Ryan before taking his own life.

After the 90-minute meeting, the mother and sister thanked the minister for a "satisfactory" discussion, and said they plan to meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris next week.

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Clodagh Hawe's mother Mary Coll (left) and her sister Jacqueline Connelly leaving the Department of Justice in Dublin following a meeting with Justice minister Charlie Flanagan Photo@ Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Clodagh Hawe's mother Mary Coll (left) and her sister Jacqueline Connelly leaving the Department of Justice in Dublin following a meeting with Justice minister Charlie Flanagan Photo@ Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Clodagh Hawe's mother Mary Coll (left) and her sister Jacqueline Connelly leaving the Department of Justice in Dublin following a meeting with Justice minister Charlie Flanagan Photo@ Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ms Connolly said: "We discussed over 10 issues that we would like reviewed following the murders, he had his officials with him and was very receptive. We're feeling very positive that changes will come from this.

"We have a meeting next week with the commissioner and we're looking forward to hearing from Mr Harris himself.

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Killed: Clodagh Hawe was murdered along with her children

Killed: Clodagh Hawe was murdered along with her children

Killed: Clodagh Hawe was murdered along with her children

"We're not in a position to comment on an inquiry at the minute but we want to say we're happy with today's outcome."

Ms Coll said: "I'm confident now we will have access to the Garda files, which we haven't been able to access before.

"We just want to thank the minister for such a satisfactory meeting."

The minister described the meeting as "lengthy but satisfactory" and said he was struck by the grace and humanity of the family, who he said had been through a horrific and traumatic ordeal.

Mr Flanagan said: "I was very pleased to inform them of an early meeting with the Garda Commissioner to express their concerns, and a number of concerns were expressed to me in terms of legislative change, and I was very happy to receive their submission.

"I've also asked my officials to report back on proposed changes to the Succession Act and coroners legislation."

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Campaigners have been calling for changes to Ireland's Succession Act, which currently allows the perpetrator of a spousal homicide to become the beneficiary of the couple's joint assets.

Mr Flanagan added: "One of the issues we discussed was to establish national research on family homicide and this is something I'm very keen to pursue."

The family, backed by the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) have called for an independent review into Clodagh's death, however the minister did not give any confirmation that he would commission such an inquiry.

He said: "The independent research that I commissioned will be helpful in that regard, but many of the issues that were put with me can be dealt with through my department or through Garda Commissioner and other agencies, and I'd be happy to engage with them."

When asked if he will release the garda files, Commissioner Harri ssaid: Harris: “Well I’m to meet the family next week and at that meeting I can listen to their concerns and really with respect to the family I should first of all have the conversation with them before I decide on the next steps. But we want to be as open and transparent with the family as we possibly can be.

“I want to meet the family and consider what their request is and how best we can meet that.”

Women's Aid, the national organisation providing support and information to women experiencing domestic violence and dating abuse, welcomed the Minister of Justice’s commitment to establish independent research into family homicides. 

"Women’s Aid welcomes the latest development announced by the Minister to establish independent research into family homicides," said Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid. "We hope that this process brings answers and a sense of justice to those affected including the family of Clodagh Hawe and her three boys Liam, Niall and Ryan.

"The country owes Jacqueline Connolly and Mary Coll a debt for bringing the issue of domestic violence and homicide to the forefront our minds with their courageous interview on RTE on Monday night.


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