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Republic of Ireland news

Family of murdered Clodagh Hawe speak for the first time about the murder-suicide

Alan Hawe with his wife Clodagh and their children Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (six). Picture from Hawes/Coll families via Press Association 

Clodagh Hawe's husband murdered her and their three sons in their Co Cavan home before dying by suicide.

Ms Hawe's sister and mother have spoken for the first time about the murder-suicide which they say has left them facing "a life sentence" of their own. 

Jacqueline Connolly says she wishes her sister's husband, Alan Hawe, had "killed all of us".

He killed his wife, Clodagh, and their three sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (six) at their home in Castlerahan on the outskirts of Ballyjamesduff, in August.

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

He left a series of notes including one pinned to the back door of the family home.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror Ms Connolly said he had "stolen all of their Christmases and ours."

"If Alan Hawe had had any decency, he would have killed all of us. But no, instead he killed Clodagh and the boys and gave us a life sentence.

"He was about to fall off his pedestal and we know why. But he couldn’t face it so he murdered my sister, Mam’s precious daughter and murdered my nephews, Mam’s precious grandchildren, to save face.

"He has stolen all of their Christmases and ours. In a few weeks time they should've been opening their presents and sharing Christmas dinner with me and mam and Gary.

"But instead the four of them are lying in their grave and their killer is lying right beside them."

The coffin of Clodagh Hawe arrives at Saint Mary's Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan

Ms Connolly said that she and her mother, Mary Coll, were speaking out in the hope that other women would recognise the danger signs of a controlling relationship.

She told The Irish Mirror: "Alan Hawe had fooled us all, he had everyone fooled. We had no idea what we'd been dealing with, who Clodagh and the boys had been living with. A wolf in sheep's clothing.

"We need to learn to recognise where dangers lie in the home, see how the desire for control can get out of control and act before it is too late."

Hours before her death Clodagh had been planning a family holiday, they said.

Clodagh Hawe 

Ms Connolly, who has been unable to return to work since the murders, said: "We strongly believe that we must now be the voices for Clodagh and our wonderful boys.

"In time we will work to highlight domestic violence, especially the silent type where there are no obvious warning signs, just like Clodagh’s situation.

"She had no idea she was in danger. Clodagh never stood a chance and so the boys never stood a chance," she added.

Ms Connolly said her sister would have "acted without hesitation" had she been aware of the danger.

“If Clodagh had known for one second that she or the boys were in danger she'd have acted without hesitation." 

Clodagh Hawe's mother was the one who found Alan Hawe's note pinned to the back door, warning people not to enter but to instead call Gardai. 

She had become alarmed when her daughter had not visited with two of her sons as planned and went to the Hawe family ome.

Ms Connolly said: "We don’t believe that we are strong or brave but we must speak out to other women who are being controlled and don’t even know it. We now know how subtle the whole thing can be.

"We feel sure her last words to Alan Hawe were: 'Do not kill me or our boys,' and we hope those words haunt that man for eternity."

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