Alan Hawe, the Co Cavan teacher who murdered his wife Clodagh Hawe (39) and their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) wrote notes, transferred money into a bank account and "went about his business while his family were dead around him", his late wife's family have said.
In an emotional and poignant interview Ms Hawe's mother Mary Coll and her sister Jacqueline Connolly have called for a full inquiry into the four murders in Ballyjamesduff in August 2016.
They believe the deaths were linked to an issue Mr Hawe, a teacher, had at work and not depression as evidence at the inquest suggested. Mr Hawe took his own life after killing his wife and children.
Ms Coll and Ms Connolly said he had conflict with a work colleague, had contacted teachers’ union the INTO and in his suicide letter was concerned that “the truth was going to come out”.
In an interview special on the Claire Byrne Live show on RTÉ on Monday night Ms Coll said her daughter confided that her husband told her he had been watching pornography and he went for counselling.
The family subsequently had sight of the counselling notes and Ms Connolly said he had said “that he was caught red-handed and we do know that he was looking at pornography on the school laptop and he never brought the school laptop home.
“We’ve had sight of the counselling notes and he had said he was masturbating somewhere that he shouldn’t have been, possibly at the school. So we have pieces of information but we don’t know who caught him.”
Ms Coll and Ms Connolly called on Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to set up a special investigation unit for familicide and family annihilation and proposed that once an inquest is concluded in such cases to publish a book of evidence.
Ms Hawe’s family only saw his suicide letter 16 months after the murders and have called for all information gathered in the course of an investigation to be shared as soon as practicable with the next of kin.
They also called on Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to amend the Succession Act which currently makes the perpetrator, or if deceased their family, a beneficiary of the estate, rather than the victim’s family.
The family also want a review of the Coroner’s Act on exhumations because the family of the perpetrator, not the victims, have control. In the immediate aftermath of the deaths Alan Hawe was buried with Clodagh Hawe and their sons but, when the family wanted that changed, the exhumation could not happen until his next of kin agreed and his family applied for him to be moved.
Ms Connolly said that reading his suicide letter “it would seem that he killed Clodagh first and he sat and he wrote five pages about how he felt” and then killed the boys. “At about half two that morning, he transferred about two and half thousand euro from the joint account to his own account.”
Ms Coll said he wrote in the letter “it was easier for them to die than to have to live with the truth of what he was doing”.
+ Anyone affected by issues in this story can contact The Samaritans on Free Phone 116 126 or by text to 087-2609090.