Cavan deaths: ‘We don’t know if we will ever understand’

People of Ballyjamesduff are ‘numbed and traumatised’ by murder-suicide

Alan  Hawe with his sons Ryan (6), Liam (13) and  Niall (11)

Alan Hawe with his sons Ryan (6), Liam (13) and Niall (11)


The Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly says the people of Ballyjamesduff are numbed and traumatised following the deaths of five members of one family in Co Cavan.

Alan and Clodagh Hawe and their children Niall (11), Ryan (6) and Liam (13) were found at their home in Ballyjamesduff on Monday in what is being treated as a murder-suicide.

The Bishop told the death of a child has to be the most difficult cross for any parent to bear and that the deaths of the three children and their parents was unbearable.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened at the tragic circumstances. The couple were very active and devoted to the parish. My heart goes out to their families and friends especially the school friends of the children,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“The whole community is affected. We have to think of them and all who have been affected, the gardaí and emergency services who had to deal with a very difficult situation.”

He said the impact on pupils and staff in the schools where the parents worked would be dramatic and he hoped the support of psychological services would help.

“This is going to have a huge impact on the school community - children, parents, teachers, everyone is going to be affected,” said Dr O’Reilly.

“You hear about situations like this, always somewhere else, now it is on our doorstep.

“We will try to find answers, but there are none. We will have to await the outcome of the inquest, but we don’t know if we will ever understand.”