‘All answers are within the house’ in Cavan horror

Alan Hawe: Described as a 'valued member of community'.

A family wiped out, a community laid waste by grief, a house within whose walls lies the answer to what motivated the killer in an horrific murder-suicide that claimed the lives of five.

Gardaí believe “all the answers are within that house” in the quiet Oakdene Estate, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, where teachers Alan and Clodagh Hawe were found dead yesterday, along with their three young sons, Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and Ryan, 6.

Two schools were reeling in the aftermath of the tragedy — Castlerahan National School, where Mr Hawe was deputy principal and a teacher of first class, and Oristown National School, in Kells, Co Meath, where Mrs Hawe had taught.

Gardaí suspect Mr Hawe stabbed his wife and his three boys with a knife, before hanging himself.

The boys were found dead upstairs: two in one bedroom and the eldest in a second bedroom.

The parents were discovered downstairs.

Gardaí said the autopsy might indicate if the boys were asleep at the time.

Detectives believe Mr Hawe, who had no history with the police, was solely involved in the killings.

“We believe all the answers are within that house, therefore the most likely scenario is that one person in that house may have caused the deaths of others,” Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll told a press briefing.

Asst Comm O’Driscoll said that while there was no evidence of a firearm being used, “a number of objects found in the house remain the subject of technical examination”.

Married for 15 years, Alan and Clodagh Hawe were well-known in the community.

Coffins are taken to hearses at the scene in Oakdene,Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, Pic: PA.
Coffins are taken to hearses at the scene in Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, Pic: PA.

In a statement yesterday, Anne Foley, principal of Castlerahan NS, described Mr Hawe as a “valued member of our school and community”.

“Niall and Ryan were pupils in our school and Liam was a past pupil. They were wonderful children who will be greatly missed by all who knew them,” Ms Foley said.

In a separate statement, Ann O’Kelly Lynch, principal of Oristown NS, said: “Clodagh was a much loved and valued teacher in our school and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”

Hearses leaves the scene at Oakdene,Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home. Pic: PA.
Hearses leaves the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home. Pic: PA.

Meanwhile Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore and patron of St Mary’s NS Castlerahan, said it was with “great sadness” that he had learned of the deaths of the Hawe family.

“Families are the cornerstone of our parish communities, and the sudden loss of one young family, in such a shocking way, is unbearable and near impossible to comprehend.

“Especially now — as the new school year begins — my thoughts and prayers are with the school friends and the teachers of the children who have died in this tragedy,” Bishop O’Reilly said.

How to get support from Childline:

By phone: Children and young people can contact Childline’s 24 hour phone service by phoning 1800 666666.

By text: Text the word: ‘talk’ to 50101 (service available from 10pm to 4am)

Live online chat: Available from 10am to 4am, live chat on Childline.ie

Via the web: You will find various items of support and advice for children and parents on ispcc.ie and childline.ie

More on this topic

Sister of Clodagh Hawe uses poetry to convey love for her sister and familySister of Clodagh Hawe uses poetry to convey love for her sister and family

Mourners told of 'tragedy beyond our understanding' at Hawe family funeralMourners told of 'tragedy beyond our understanding' at Hawe family funeral

Hawe family to be laid to rest todayHawe family to be laid to rest today

Cavan murder-suicide: Father's note won't be made publicCavan murder-suicide: Father's note won't be made public


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