Hawe family: ‘We have had some light shed upon the darkness’

Parents of Alan Hawe said in one night they lost ’three beautiful grandchildren, a beloved daughter-in-law and our son’

The parents of Alan Hawe, the Co Cavan teacher who murdered his wife and three children and then took his own life in August 2016, have said that on that day they “received news no family should ever have to hear.”

Stephen and Olive Hawe said in a statement released as the inquest into the five deaths draws to a close in Cavan, that in one night they lost “three beautiful grandchildren, a beloved daughter-in-law and our son Alan.”

“Death’s dark door opened and we have struggled over the last 16 months to comprehend how this came to pass,” the couple said in a statement released by their solicitor, Michael Lanigan.

The Hawes referred to the medical findings into the mental illness suffered by their son Alan (40), a local school vice-principal who was responsible for the deaths of his wife Clodagh (39) and her sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) at their home near Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan on August 29th, 2016.


“We have had some light shed upon that darkness with the insight gained from thorough examination of the report and evidence of Prof Harry Kennedy and his opinion that Alan suffered from severe depressive illness,” they said.

“It does not make the pain and loss any easier for us.”

The couple thanked Cavan coroner Dr Mary Flanagan for “the extraordinary work she and her staff have put into this inquest.”

They paid tribute to the members of An Garda Siochána under Superintendent Leo McGinn, who played a leading role in providing testimony to the inquest, and Detective Inspector James O’Leary.

The couple extended their thanks to the first gardaí on the scene, Garda Alan Ratcliffe and Garda Aisling Walsh, who discovered the bodies of the five Hawe family members on the morning of August 29th, 2016.

The Hawes also thanked the Garda family liaison officers, garda Lisa Stephens and Sergeant Ted Hughes “who have helped us through very dark days” and their solicitor, Mr Lanigan.

“We thank all those who have taken the time in the last year to contact us with messages of support and prayer from all parts of the country - they have brought us great solace,” the couple said concluding their statement.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times