Government to approve study of family homicides

Clodagh Hawe and her family.

The Government is to sign off on an independent specialist research study on familicide today.

Charlie Flanagan, the justice minister, is to seek Cabinet approval to set up the in-depth study on the supports available to families who are victims of familicide.

The study will also look into rolling out domestic homicide reviews in Ireland.

The move comes after Mr Flanagan met the family of Clodagh Hawe earlier this year to discuss her murder.

Ms Hawe, 39, was killed along with her three young sons by her husband, the children’s father, Alan Hawe in the family home in Cavan in August 2016.

The study, which is expected to take a year to complete, will involve State agencies, family members of victims, and non-governmental organisations.

Mr Flanagan said he is very aware of the devastating effects familicide can have on those left behind, in the family, and the wider community. 

It is understood Mr Flanagan wants to ensure that clear protocols and guidelines are in place so that the State can provide all supports possible.

Domestic homicide reviews have taken place for a number of years in England and Wales but the Department of Justice has consulted with NGOs and believes that model cannot be used here and would need to be tailored for this jurisdiction.

The review will look at international best practice when it comes to domestic homicide reviews and recommendations will be made on how to apply them here.

The study will also examine the adequacy and suitability of current policies and practices of state services in supporting close family members of those who die in familicides.

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