Monday 20 May 2019

'Hawe seen driving car after family were murdered' - Jacqueline Connolly's powerful account of tragedy

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

ALAN HAWE was seen driving his car close to the school where he was deputy principal in the "very early hours" after he murdered his wife, Clodagh, and their three boys, her family have been told.

In a powerful and moving account published exclusively in today's Sunday Independent, Clodagh's sister, Jacqueline Connolly, reveals for the first time that a local man told her that he and another person saw Hawe driving near Castlerahan school in Cavan in the early hours of August 29, 2016.

Niall, Ryan and Liam Hawe and their mum Clodagh
Niall, Ryan and Liam Hawe and their mum Clodagh

Later that Monday morning, the bodies of the Hawe family were discovered in their home outside Ballyjamesduff. Alan Hawe had murdered Clodagh and their sons, Liam (13), Niall (11), and Ryan (6), before taking his own life.

Ms Connolly writes that the local man told her he made a statement to gardai about the sighting of Alan Hawe. Clodagh's family was unhappy with the Garda response when they asked if they pursued this line.

She said it may be a case of mistaken identity but she believed the man.

Ms Connolly and her mother, Mary Coll, are now seeking to verify the reported sighting with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris later this week.

The reported sighting has raised troubling questions for the family.

In her account today, Ms Connolly asks: "So, after Alan Hawe murdered his wife and three sons, did he leave the house to go to his place of work, Castlerahan school... perhaps to destroy evidence?"

While an inquest suggested Hawe had a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms, Clodagh's family believe the catalyst for the murders was a work issue.

In today's article, Ms Connolly discloses that counselling notes reveal that Alan Hawe was "frequently viewing pornography, suffered regular urges to masturbate and was experimenting with cross dressing".

She reveals that computer forensics established that 97pc of the pornography he viewed was on a laptop at his work in Castlerahan school: "In all likelihood it would seem if he stated he was caught red-handed and 'it was all going to blow up', the most likely place was the school."

He committed the murders on the night before he was due to return to teaching after the summer break.

Clodagh's family decided to make their concerns public after their solicitor was denied access to the Garda's investigation files.

Following an interview with Claire Byrne Live on Monday, they met with the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan. The minister arranged the meeting with the Garda Commissioner.

Ms Coll and Ms Connolly will be asking the Garda Commissioner why information was not shared with them.

Clodagh's family is also urging the minister to reform the Succession Act, so that murderers, or their family if they end their own life, do not financially benefit from their crime.

The Sunday Independent has separately learned that Alan Hawe's estate is facing a number of possible legal actions. His mother, Olive, issued legal proceedings in the High Court last week against her son's estate.

Other proceedings may be issued by Mary Coll and Jacqueline Connolly, according to probate records.

The records show that Hawe died intestate and his father, Stephen Hawe, a farmer, was appointed by the court as administrator of the estate to defend it against the intended legal proceedings.

Sunday Independent

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