herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Thousands pay respects to tragic Hawe family

Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan Hawe in a photo released by relatives Picture: PA
Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan Hawe in a photo released by relatives Picture: PA

Thousands turned out to pay their respects to the tragic Hawe family ahead of their funerals today.

A steady stream of people made their way to the Lakelands funeral home in Cavan town where the five bodies were laid out side by side, the three young brothers in white coffins.

Liam (13), Niall (11) and six-year-old Ryan died from stab wounds while their teacher mother, Clodagh, died from head injuries. That's according to a post-mortem carried out by deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

Mrs Hawes' body was found downstairs in the sitting room of the family home in Ballyjamesduff. The bodies of her children, in their pyjamas, were discovered upstairs in bedrooms.

Charity

Alan Hawe, also a teacher, took his own life after killing his wife and children. A studio photograph of the family was released yesterday by relatives.

Mrs Hawe's family, the Colls, along with Alan Hawe's family asked mourners to donate to the country's biggest suicide prevention charity, Pieta House, in lieu of flowers.

The funeral will take place at Saint Mary's Church in Castlerahan, Co Cavan, at 4pm. Burial after Mass will be in the adjoining cemetery.

The church is close to Castlerahan Central National School where Hawe was vice-principal.

Niall and Ryan were students there at the time of their death. Eldest son Liam was a past pupil.

Relatives of the Hawe family arrived early last evening and had private prayers with Bishop Leo O'Reilly over the remains of their loved ones.

At the family's dormer bungalow, a makeshift shrine had been erected, featuring candles and a growing number of floral tributes.

Mrs Hawe was described this week as "the best teacher in the world" by one mother at Oristown National School in Kells, Co Meath, where she taught.

As the community prepares to bury the family today, they are still struggling to come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy discovered by gardai, who were alerted when a relative found a note pinned to the back door of the house.

Despite the horrific manner of the family's deaths, it is understood that relatives decided to have them buried together as, they do not wish to "demonise" the boys' father.

A close family friend said this week that the family loved Hawe, which would be clear at the funeral today.

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service have been assigned to the primary schools to support and advise teachers in their efforts to help students and staff deal with the loss of the family.

The schools will also be open to parents who seek support and guidance.

Women's Aid has reported an increase in the number of calls to its helpline, with many mothers distraught at the deaths of Mrs Hawe and her children.

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