The extended families of a father, mother, and their three sons, who died in a suspected murder-suicide have asked mourners to make donations to a leading suicide charity.
Alan Hawe was found dead along with his wife Clodagh and their children Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and Ryan, 6, in their countryside house in Co Cavan on Monday morning.
Their funerals take place together today at St Mary’s Church, Castlerahan, and they are to be buried in the adjoining cemetery.
A death notice asked for mourners who wish to make donations to give money to Pieta House, a charity which helps thousands of people in suicidal distress and which runs eight centres across the country. The family asked for floral tributes to be limited to those from relatives, and for donations to be offered at a collection box at the church or to be given directly to the charity or through funeral director Declan Finnegan.
Gardaí believe Mr Hawe killed his wife and children in their home at Oakdene, in the townland of Barconey near Ballyjamesduff, before dying by suicide.
Earlier this week, Garda sources said a suspected murder-suicide note left by Alan Hawe “could contain nothing or could contain everything” in relation to why he murdered his wife and children.
However, the authorities have stressed that the contents of the letter will “not be released” to the public, given their likely extremely sensitive nature.
The remains of the family reposed in Lakelands Funeral Home in Cavan Town for several hours ahead of the Requiem Mass, with hundreds of people offering condolences and leaving messages of support.
A memorial Mass has also been arranged for next Tuesday in St Nicholas’ Church, Windgap, Co Kilkenny.
Mr Hawe was originally from the county and was the deputy principal at Castlerahan National School, near where the family lived.
His wife grew up in Mount Nugent, Co Cavan, and she taught at Oristown National School in Co Meath.
In the wake of the tragedy, the National Suicide Research Foundation issued a briefing document on murder-suicide, in which it said there was a need for sensitive and factual reporting in order to minimise harm and increase awareness.
The research body warned of the risk of copycat cases and a distortion of the facts.
It described murder- suicides as relatively rare but suggested that in-depth independent investigations of each case were needed in order to improve knowledge of risk factors and patterns of incidents.
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