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Diagnosis of severe depressive illness does not ease our pain, say parents of Alan Hawe who killed wife Clodagh and their three sons

Clodagh Hawe and her three sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and six-year-old Ryan were killed by Alan Hawe
Ed Carty, Press Association

The parents of killer husband and father Alan Hawe have said the diagnosis of his depression does not ease the pain.

Stephen and Olive Hawe, the vice-principal's parents, said the inquest has shed some light on the murder-suicide after 16 months struggling to comprehend what happened in the family home.

"Last August we received news no family should ever have to hear," they said.

"In one night we 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."

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The Hawes referred to Professor Harry Kennedy's review of medical records, counselling notes, and the suicide note that was left by Mr Hawe and his retrospective diagnosis of mental illness.

"We have had some light shed upon that darkness with the insight gained from thorough examination of the report of Professor 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."

Mr and Mrs Hawe did not attend the inquest over the two days and issued the statement through their solicitor.

They thanked Coroner Dr Mary Flanagan and said she had done extraordinary work along with her staff to hold the hearing.

They also praised gardai involved in the case and those who were first on the scene at the Hawe family home in Barconey near Ballyjamesduff and said the liaison officers helped them through "very dark days".

"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," they added.

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