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Friday 18 October 2019

Clodagh Hawe murder: review to examine Garda probe

Serious case review to be held into Garda response to Hawe family murders

Clodagh Hawe with her sister Jacqueline Connolly
Clodagh Hawe with her sister Jacqueline Connolly

Ian Begley and Shane Phelan

A serious case review will examine the Garda response and investigation into the murder of Clodagh Hawe and her three sons.

Clodagh (39), Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) were killed in their home near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, in August 2016 by husband and father Alan Hawe, who subsequently took his own life.

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's sister Jacqueline Connolly last week told the 'Sunday Independent' of unanswered questions surrounding the killings.

The family are concerned about a reported sighting of Alan Hawe, near the school where he was vice principal, early on the morning of August 29.

The new case review, confirmed by gardaí last night, follows a meeting between Commissioner Drew Harris and Clodagh's family at Garda Headquarters in Dublin.

The review will look at the Garda response to the deaths, rather than the lead-up to the murders themselves. Clodagh's mother and sister welcomed the decision.

Alan Hawe with Clodagh and their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6)
Alan Hawe with Clodagh and their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6)

"Commissioner Harris told the family that he has appointed Assistant Commissioner Barry O'Brien to conduct a serious case review of the investigation," a Garda spokesperson said.

"The review team will take a number of weeks to establish. Commissioner Harris said the family will be kept informed as the review progresses."

Clodagh's mother Mary Coll and sister Jacqueline Connolly attended the meeting.

"We have had a very constructive two-and-a-half hour meeting with the Garda Commissioner," Ms Connolly said.

"He has agreed to conduct a serious case review headed by his Assistant Commissioner Barry O'Brien.

"We look forward to being appraised of that process in two weeks' time.

"Once again, we would like to thank the media for the respectful coverage around Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan and for the support we have received from everyone around the country."

Gardaí described the meeting as being conducted in a "dignified manner".

"It is welcome that the family found it productive and it helped provide clarity for them on some matters," a spokesperson said.

"Commissioner Harris provided the family with information on the criminal investigation undertaken while also respecting the data protection rights and confidentially of those individuals who had given statements to An Garda Síochána in the course of the investigation."

Earlier this year, the family was refused copies of the Garda files from the original investigation into the murders.

They have since been appealing for a new and full inquiry into the murders and to be given access to the Garda files.

They are also calling for a review on Ireland's inheritance law where a spouse can benefit financially from domestic murder.

In an interview with the 'Sunday Independent', Ms Connolly said that in the days and weeks after the shocking killings, they slowly started to learn that as the victims' family they had little rights.

They have also been told by a local man that he saw Alan Hawe driving very close to the school where he was vice principal early on the morning of August 29.

However, Ms Connolly said that they were accused of interfering with a witness when they queried this with gardaí.

Irish Independent

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