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

Clodagh Hawe's sister Jacqueline turned to poetry to convey the heartache and deep sense of loss that has engulfed two families and a rural Irish community.

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

"It breaks our hearts to lose you all,

"You didn't go alone

"For part of us went with you all

"The day God called you home."

Clodagh Hawe's sister Jacqueline turned to poetry to convey the heartache and deep sense of loss that has engulfed two families and a rural Irish community.

Choking back tears she told the hundreds of mourners life would never be the same.

"You left us peaceful memories.

"Your love is still our guide. And although we cannot see you. You are always by our sides.

"Our family chain is broken. And nothing will ever be the same.

"But as God calls us one by one the chain will link again.

"Sleep Tight."

Hundreds had journeyed to the funeral at St Mary's Church in Castlerahan with capacity inside reached long before the service began.

Outside mourners huddled together sheltering from the early autumnal breeze.

As the five hearses swept into the grounds in a slow solemn convoy utter silence descended on the large crowd.

The only audible sounds were from cattle in nearby fields and crows in the trees.

Men, women and children, some in school uniforms, who had lined the steep church driveway wiped away tears as the cortege passed.

First came schoolteacher Clodagh - her smiling face beaming from a photograph placed in the rear of the hearse.

Then the three boys, Liam 13, Niall 11 and Ryan six - each carried in a white coffin.

And finally, Alan Hawe whose coffin was draped in a red and white GAA jersey.

In his homily, Fr Felim Kelly reflected on the popularity of the family - well regarded within the tight-knit parish and beyond.

Their loss in such tragic circumstances has rocked the community to the core, the cleric said.

"We are all trying to cope with a tragedy beyond our understanding."

Gardaí believe Mr Hawe, a deputy school principal, killed his wife and children in their home at Oakdene in the townland of Barconey near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan before taking his own life last Monday.

During the service there were reflections of an idyllic family life.

Fr Kelly shared memories of a visit to the Hawe home one Christmas morning where he was welcomed with scones, coffee and invited to play with Lego. He also recalled how they each played an active role in the church and had their own seat family at St Mary's.

Posing the question on many people's lips Fr Kelly asked: "How so much goodness could be destroyed?

"How such happiness could be invaded? How? Why?"

But the parish priest told mourners: "It is not for us to seek answers or to surmise about behaviour.

"Clodagh, Alan, Liam, Niall and Ryan are at peace.

"This is the assurance of hope."

The family were laid to rest together in the graveyard beside the church they had so faithfully attended.

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