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Relatives of family of five found dead request donations to suicide charity

Published 02/09/2016

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

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, six, in their countryside house in Co Cavan on Monday morning.

Their funerals are taking place together on Saturday at St Mary's Church, Castlerahan, and they will 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 relatives and for donations to be offered at a collection box at the church or to be given direct to the charity or through funeral director Declan Finnegan.

Gardai believe Mr Hawe killed his wife and children in their home at Oakdene, in the townland of Barconey near Ballyjamesduff, before dying by suicide.

The remains of the family reposed in Lakelands Funeral Home in Cavan 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 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 is 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 facts.

It described murder-suicides as relatively rare but suggested independent in-depth investigations of each case were needed to improve knowledge of risk factors and patterns and to help prevent incidents occurring.

Anyone affected by the incident or other incidents can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

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From Belfast Telegraph