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Irish dad Alan Hawe who killed wife and three sons to be buried with them

By Greg Harkin

Published 01/09/2016

Alan Hawe with his children Ryan, Liam and Niall
Alan Hawe with his children Ryan, Liam and Niall
Clodagh Hawe
The bodies of the Hawes are taken away from the crime scene at Barconey, Ballyjamesduff, in Cavan

Irish father Alan Hawe has been described as a "brilliant dad" and relatives have "no idea" what drove him to kill his family, including three young sons.

All five members of the Hawe family who died in the Co Cavan horror will be laid to rest together on the insistence of relatives.

School vice-principal Alan Hawe killed his wife Clodagh and their three boys at the family home in Barcony, near Ballyjamesduff, before then taking his own life.

The bodies of sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and six-year-old Ryan (6) were found upstairs at the house on Monday morning.

A close friend of the family said relatives were keen to stress that they would not "demonise" Alan for what he did.

"Whatever happened to Alan, the Alan we knew was a kind, caring father and we won't let that slip away," the source added.

"People will see that over the next few days and at the funeral on Saturday.

"Alan was loved by the family and they will show that.

"There has been a lot of speculation, but we want to stress that what happened was totally out of character for Alan

"The family has no idea why this happened. Clodagh's mother Mary loved Alan as much as Clodagh and doted on the grandchildren.

"They had a great relationship and she has been left traumatised by what has happened.

"She is as mystified as everyone else locally and across the country as to why this happened, but she does not want Alan demonised in any way.

"There were no money issues in the family and he did not have any mental health issues - that is simply not the case."

A note written by Mr Hawe shortly before he took his own life and left in a sealed envelope on a table downstairs could hold answers. In the note, he is believed to have outlined some of the problems that had been torturing his mind in the hours leading up to the killings.

It is understood Clodagh's mother Mary told family and friends that she wanted all five to be laid to rest together. She had a very close relationship with Alan.

The funeral Mass will be held at St Mary's Church in Castlerahan this Saturday at 4pm, just across the road from the school where Alan was vice-principal and where sons Niall and Ryan were pupils.

Yesterday, post mortem examinations confirmed the three Hawe brothers were all stabbed to death in their bedrooms.

Their mother Clodagh died from head wounds and her body was discovered downstairs in the sitting room of the family home.

Mr Hawe then took his own life in the hallway and his body was the first to be found when gardai entered the house at 10.45am on Monday.

Independent.ie

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