Five Sligo children in care after husband stabs wife to death, then kills himself


A FAMILY of five children from Sligo, aged between two and 17, are being cared for by relatives and social services after their father killed their mother and then, gardai believe, cut his own throat.

The body of Michael Cawley (37) was found on waste ground near Sligo racecourse yesterday morning by a man walking his dog.

On Tuesday, Cawley killed his wife, Noeleen, stabbing her several times in the chest after an argument at their home in Collery Drive, Sligo.

The argument was witnessed by three of the younger Cawley children, one of whom called neighbours, but they were unable to save Mrs Cawley.

Cawley disappeared after killing his wife and gardai began a search for him, although he was not named. Gardai said yesterday that they were no longer seeking anyone in connection with the killing of Mrs Cawley.

It is understood that Mr and Mrs Cawley were estranged.

Two other members of the Cawley family are serving jail terms for stabbings, one of which was fatal.

Charles Cawley (34), of Benbulben Terrace, Sligo, is serving a five year sentence for slashing an Australian tourist, Ms Katriona McCormack, in Galway city last June. Ms McCormack was badly disfigured when Cawley slashed her face with a carpet knife while he and a woman associate robbed her.

The attack was described as "horrible and cowardly" by Judge Harvey Kenny when he sentenced Charles Cawley.

Another brother, Noel (38), was also sentenced to five years' imprisonment for the manslaughter of a 26 year old Sligo man, Martin Sheridan, after an argument in a pub in November, 1992.

The court was told that Noel Cawley had drunk an estimated 25 cans of cider and vodka before stabbing Mr Sheridan with a fishing knife. Mr Sheridan bled to death after the attack.

A day after the stabbing, two armed and masked men, believed to be members of the IRA, called to Noel Cawley's house and shot him in the knee.