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Wednesday 23 October 2019

Clodagh remembered as new school hall is named after teacher murdered by husband

Honoured: Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan with Clodagh Hawe's mum and sister at the opening of the hall
Honoured: Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan with Clodagh Hawe's mum and sister at the opening of the hall

Louise Walsh

A school community in Co Meath has unveiled a new hall in memory of its former and much-loved teacher Clodagh Hawe, who was tragically murdered with her children by her husband in 2016.

Clodagh was getting ready to teach 3rd class at Scoil Catriona Naomha in Oristown when the 39-year-old teacher and her three sons, Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6), were killed by her husband Alan Hawe (40) at their home in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, on August 29, just days before the new school term started.

Clodagh Hawe
Clodagh Hawe

Yesterday, parents, staff and students got together to remember her after fundraising €100,000 towards the new Halla Clodagh, which was opened with a Mass by Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan with music by the Garda band. Her mum Mary and sister Jacqueline were also in attendance.

"We never had a school hall for our 120 students and we always planned on one when Clodagh was still alive," said Leona Farrelly of the school's parents' association. "She was really behind our plans for the facility and I can only imagine how she'd feel now that we have a hall in her honour.

"When she passed on, the parents' association and teachers decided to start fundraising with a passion. It was a distraction from the tragedy, something positive we could talk to the children about.

"We had secured €200,000 in funding from the Department of Education and Skills and fundraised the remaining €100,000. We already have a buddy bench in her honour at the school."

The school hall dedicated to the memory of teacher Clodagh Hawe. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
The school hall dedicated to the memory of teacher Clodagh Hawe. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

In Halla Clodagh, a poignant plaque was also erected to the teacher with the words; 'Smile, Play and Think of Me.'

In her speech, principal Ann O'Kelly Lynch said: "Today is a day to celebrate but it's also tinged with sadness as we remember our beloved Clodagh and her sons.

"During her 13 years as a teacher here, she touched and enhanced so many people in this community."

Irish Independent

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