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'That evil killer will not silence our beautiful Clodagh' – Sister and mother of murdered Clodagh Hawe speak out

Sister urges victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence

Published 01/12/2016

Hawe family
Hawe family
Coffins are taken into St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, where the funeral of the Hawe family took place
Clodagh Hawe
Clodagh Hawe

The mother and sister of murdered mum Clodagh Hawe have vowed to honour her life by preventing other families from suffering the same devastation they have.

Clodagh (39) was brutally murdered, along with her three young sons, by husband and father Alan Hawe in a frenzied attack inside the family home.

Alan Hawe, who worked as a vice principal, killed them all using knives and a hatchet before taking his own life.

More: Stop making excuses for Alan Hawe - he killed three sons and wife with hatchet and knives

The three boys, Liam, Niall and Ryan were all in their pyjamas when they were tragically killed.

Now, Clodagh’s sister Jacqueline Connolly, and her mother Mary Coll, are urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.

Jacqueline and Mary from Virginia, Co Cavan, are calling on other families living with silent, secretive abuse to look for the dangers and seek help.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mirror, Jacqueline said: “We strongly believe that we must now be the voices for Clodagh and our wonderful boys.

“In time we will work to highlight domestic violence, especially the silent type where there are no obvious warning signs, just like Clodagh’s situation.

“She had no idea she was in danger. If she had known she would have acted to prevent it and safeguard the boys and herself.

“While Clodagh was planning their future, he was planning her end. While she had thoughts of sunshine and fun, he had murder on his mind.

“Clodagh never stood a chance and so the boys never stood a chance. Not once in their lives had they been vulnerable or in danger because Clodagh was just the best mother.”

Remembering her sister, Jacqueline said that she was someone who she always respected and looked up to. 

Coffins are taken into St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, where the funeral of the Hawe family took place
Coffins are taken into St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, where the funeral of the Hawe family took place
Hawe family
Clodagh Hawe
Clodagh Hawe

“She was their mam, their friend and protector, their guide, counsellor and teacher. She was everything to our wonderful boys and an example to everyone who knew and loved her.

“I always looked up to my sister and she always looked after me. Clodagh was one of Mary’s beautiful children and mother to her beautiful grandchildren. Clodagh was one of her mother’s best friends.

“If Clodagh had known for one second that she or the boys were in danger she’d have acted without hesitation,” she added.

Jacqueline said it is now up to her and her mother to act on behalf of Clodagh to try and prevent other women and children from suffering a similar brutal fate.

“Clodagh’s voice was taken from her in the most brutal way by a man she should’ve been able to trust with her life. So now Mam and I will be her voice, we have to be and neither Clodagh nor we will be silenced again.

“We need to learn to recognise where dangers lie in the home, see how the desire for control can get out of control and act before it is too late.”

Alan Hawe killed his wife and their three children in a murder-suicide.

He left a note on the back door of their Castlerahan home warning anyone who came by to call gardaí

A number of notes were also left by the mass murderer to explain his actions, but Jacqueline says it was all a bid to prevent the “fall off his pedestal”.

“If Alan Hawe had had any decency, he would have killed all of us. But no, instead he killed Clodagh and the boys and given us a life sentence.

“He was about to fall off his pedestal and we know why. But he couldn’t face it so he murdered my sister, Mam’s precious daughter and murdered my nephews, Mam’s precious grandchildren, to save face.

“He has stolen all of their Christmases and ours. In a few weeks time they should’ve been opening their presents and sharing Christmas dinner with me and Mam and Gary.

“But instead the four of them are lying in their grave and their killer is lying right beside them.

“Alan Hawe had fooled us all, he had everyone fooled. We had no idea what we’d been dealing with, who Clodagh and the boys had been living with. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Finally, in her interview with the Irish Mirror, Jacqueline said they will be haunted for the rest of their lives by what happened that day in August.

“Clodagh’s last thoughts would have been for her boys, her last words would have been for her boys, her last hope on this earth would have been for her boys. We are haunted for the rest of our lives with thoughts of her begging for her life and for the lives of her children.

“We feel sure her last words to Alan Hawe were: ‘Do not kill me or our boys,’ and we hope those words haunt that man for eternity.”

Irish Independent

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