Family of Clodagh Hawe sought exhumation of killer’s remains

Sister of dead woman Jacqueline Connolly says: ‘I cried with relief that he was gone’

A file image of Clodagh and Alan Hawe.

A file image of Clodagh and Alan Hawe.


The sister of Clodagh Hawe has spoken of her relief following the exhumation of her brother-in-law Alan Hawe from the grave he shared with his wife and three sons.

The body of Alan Hawe, who murdered his wife and three sons before killing himself last year, was exhumed in Co Cavan on Wednesday.

Ms Hawe’s family stood nearby as the body was removed from the grave he shared with her and their three sons beside St Mary’s Church in Castlerahan.

Ms Hawe’s younger sister, Jacqueline Connolly, told BBC NI radio on Thursday of her relief that the body had been exhumed.

“I was there when it happened. And as he left the cemetery, the sun broke through the clouds and I cried with relief that he was gone,” said Ms Connolly.

“At least Clodagh and the boys can rest in peace now that he has gone, thank God...We have waited for seven and a half months for this to be done. We requested that he would be exhumed.”

There was significant controversy last year after Hawe (40) was buried in the same grave as Clodagh (nee Coll) and Liam (14), Niall (11) and Ryan (6).


Hawe killed his wife and sons on August 29th, 2016, in a protracted attack using knives and a hatchet at the family home near Ballyjamesduff.

The Kilkenny native worked as the vice-principal of the local Castlerahan National School in Ballyjamesduff while Ms Hawe taught at Oristown national school in Kells, Co Meath.

Ms Connolly paid tribute to her late sister and her children and described her sister as “the golden girl”.

“I used to call her the golden girl. In my eyes, she never put a foot wrong. She was just lovely. She was always very level headed, more so than me,” she said.

“The kids, growing up, were so respectful and all talented in different ways. Liam was athletic, Niall was into building Lego and baking. When Ryan was telling you a story his eyes would be dancing in his head - he was so full of life.

“Clodagh was always very honest, she always communicated with the kids and she always made sure they were protected and they were kept safe and told the truth about everything.”

When asked if there were any indications there were problems in the marriage, she replied “No.”

“You don’t recover, you’ll never recover. A life where Alan Hawe has murdered Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan. What kind of a life is that to live? You don’t recover.

“I have a son to live for and a mother to live for and I go to work and I do what I can day to day and that’s it,” she said.

It is understood Alan Hawe’s remains were taken to Glasnevin Cemetery for cremation following the exhumation.