Republic of Ireland news

Relatives of Clodagh Hawe and family speak out to help victims in abusive relationships

Clodagh Hawe with her three children who she 'lived for', Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (six)
Seanín Graham

A SPECIAL programme to remember a Co Cavan woman brutally murdered along with her three children at the hands of her husband will be broadcast on Monday night.

Her Name Is Clodagh will feature interviews from the mother and sister of Clodagh Hawe (39), who was murdered by Alan Hawe in the family home near Ballyjamesduff on August 28 2016.

The couple’s children, Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (six) also died after being attacked by their father, who then took his own life, on the last day of the school holidays.

There was a massive backlash in relation to some initial reporting of the horrific crime, with the killer portrayed as a ‘pillar of the community’ through his job as a deputy school principal and his links to the church and the GAA.

Allison Morris: Her name was Clodagh - she was a victim, her killer was not

Such was the outrage that ‘her name is Clodagh’ began trending on social media in response to the lack of coverage of the ‘real victims’.

Clodagh’s mother Mary Coll and sister Jacqueline Connolly agreed to take part in tonight’s Claire Byrne live special on RTÉ, saying they wanted to remember her for being  “a mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and a friend”.

Read More: Clodagh Hawe's sister speaks of relief as killer exhumed from grave

But they say they also “owe it to Clodagh and the boys” to seek the “full truth about why Alan Hawe murdered his family that night”.

The boys, who were close to their grandmother and watched television with her the night before their murders, were murdered in their beds.

Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (six) were murdered by their father, Alan Hawe

Their mother was attacked with an axe in her sitting room as she sat researching holidays online for the next summer.

“Alan Hawe left a note but it only provides clues as to why he did what he did. It’s not the full picture, and Mary and Jacqueline believe that the gaps can and should be filled by those who may have more information about him and who he really was,” the programme makers say.

Read More: Allison Morris: The premeditated nature of the Hawe killings is chilling

Mrs Coll and her daughter, who are described as private people, were reluctant to do a television interview about the “horrors” of what happened to their loved ones but said they felt they “had to” for the sake of victims trapped in abusive relationships.

Clodagh (right) at the wedding of her sister, Jacqueline Connolly with their mother Mary Coll

“The issues that compelled them are the need to remember Clodagh and boys, their continuing search for answers and a sense of wanting to protect other women who may be vulnerable and in danger tonight,” the programme makers say.

Her Name Is Clodagh will be broadcast on RTÉ1 at 10.35pm on Monday evening.

Read More: Diagnosis of severe depressive illness does not ease our pain, say parents of Alan Hawe

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