Wednesday 22 November 2017

It could be a year before true horror of that day emerges at inquest

Gardaí at the scene of the Hawe family tragedy in Cavan Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Gardaí at the scene of the Hawe family tragedy in Cavan Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

It may be up to a year before the details of what had been torturing the mind of Alan Hawe in the hours leading up to his shocking decision to kill his loved ones and then take his own life become clear.

And even after a Coroner's Court inquest, the full story may not be known. In the meantime, investigating gardaí are faced with the grim task of piecing together what can be established to help explain why a loving father and husband could enter a world of utter despair, where he thought he had to end it all for himself and those he was afraid to leave behind to cope with life without him.

What the gardaí discover from their inquiries will be laid bare in a report prepared for the Coroner's Court.

It is likely to be a year before an inquest into the deaths of Mr Hawe, his wife, Clodagh and their three boys, Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) at their home in Oakdene, Barconey, outside Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, early on Monday morning.

Until their bodies were found in four separate rooms of the house, there had been no hint of the inner demons that tormented Alan Hawe and drove him to such a terrible act.

Now, a small, tightly knit community is struggling to come to terms with its grief at the loss of a much-respected and liked family and the way in which they departed.

If this tragedy had befallen some other family in the neighbourhood, it is likely that the locals would have turned to Alan and Clodagh Hawe to help them cope.

After the funerals, gardaí will interview members of the wider family circle, their friends and acquaintances, as well as work colleagues of the two parents in their efforts to find - if not understand - a reason for the deaths.

But so far, they are reliant on the words of Mr Hawe, written by him in a farewell note to his family and sealed in an envelope, left on a table in the house, before he committed his final act.

In the note, he is believed to have outlined some of the problems that he had confronted internally as he decided on his final act.

The contents of the note are expected to influence some of the lines of inquiry to be pursued by the gardaí.

Irish Independent

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