Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh deaths: Other tragic events that rocked local communities

By Staff Reporter

As the shocking news emerged from the sleepy Co Fermanagh village of Maguiresbridge last night of an incident of unimaginable horror, it brought back memories of other murder-suicides which caused devastation.

Just last year in Co Cavan, Alan Hawe killed his wife and three sons.

Hawe (41), his wife Clodagh (39) and their three children Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) were found dead in their house in Ballyjamesduff in August 2016 in an apparent murder-suicide.

It is believed the teacher killed each member of his family before taking his own life and left a note pinned to the door of the house advising that the first person to see it should call the emergency services.

Hawe's remains were exhumed from the joint grave earlier this month on the request of Clodagh's family.

The circumstances surrounding the tragedy are set to be the subject of an inquest later this year.

Meanwhile 10 years ago Arthur McElhill killed his family in a house fire in Omagh, an act which sent shockwaves across Northern Ireland.

The couple died along with their five children at their home in Lammy Crescent.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson concluded at the inquest into the family's deaths that McElhill burned the house down because his partner, Lorraine McGovern, threatened to leave him.

That inquest heard a phone call made by Lorraine's daughter, Caroline (13), in which she pleaded for help from her burning home. McElhill, Ms McGovern and their five children - Caroline, Sean (7), Bellina (4), Clodagh (19 months) and James (nine months) died in the blaze.

Arthur McElhill had been having sex with a 16-year-old girl in the weeks before the fire. The house has since been demolished.

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