Family's decision rights a wrong and honours the memory of Clodagh and her boys

The funeral of Clodagh Hawe and her children Liam, 13, Niall, 11 and Ryan, 6 at Saint Mary's Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan in August last year shocked many when their killer Alan Hawe was buried alongside them.

IT is impossible for any of us to understand how the family of Clodagh Hawe, the devoted mother murdered in the most savage way along with her three beloved sons, feels.

A family who, from the outside appeared happy and successful, were slaughtered without sense or reason.

The fact the murders were carried out by the very person who should have been willing to give his own life to protect theirs, was equally incomprehensible.

In the immediate aftermath of that horrendous act of barbarity last August at the family home in Cavan, the reaction said a lot about tge attitudes of the patriarchal Ireland we still live in.

How a man who hacks his wife and children to death can be considered "a pillar of the community" while his wife and children were spoken about like his property is beyond belief.

Alan Hawe's murder spree ended with him taking his own life. This seemed for some to justify him being awarded victim status equal to the innocents he murdered.

Some news articles had to be scanned closely to even find the names of Clodagh and her children. Instead they read like a tribute to her killer.

The sight of his coffin alongside that of Clodagh and sons, Liam, 15, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan, during Requiem Mass which eulogised him in glowing terms, was shocking.

It is understandable that faced with the horror of the situation Clodagh's family went into an unquestioning state.

It is also not surprising that they have now tried to right that wrong by having Alan Hawe's body exhumed from their loved ones' final resting place.

A grave should be a peaceful place of quiet reflection and private grief.

Clodagh's family can now say a prayer or place flowers on her grave without feeling like they are in some way condoning the violence inflicted upon those innocents who rest there.

They can now erect a stone, that remembers their much loved family without having to be constantly reminded of the man who took their lives.

Her name was Clodagh, her sons names were Liam, Niall and Ryan, may they now be allowed to rest in peace.

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