Dad set to be buried side by side with the family he killed at home
A father who killed his three sons and their mother in a frenzied attack before killing himself will be buried alongside them.
School vice-principal Alan Hawe (41) - who killed his wife Clodagh (39) and their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) - is to be laid to rest alongside his young family following their funeral on Saturday.
Relatives of the Hawes have insisted that the tragic family be buried together, despite the horrific way in which the boys and their mother died.
A friend has said the family didn't want to "demonise" Hawe following the tragedy.
"Whatever happened to Alan, the Alan we knew was a kind, caring father and we won't let that slip away now," the friend said.
"People will see that over the next few days and at the funeral on Saturday. Alan was loved by the family and they will show that."
The family had shown no outward signs of any problems, in fact they had been preparing for the start of the school year as normal, the friend said.
"There has been a lot of speculation but we want to stress that what happened was totally out of character for Alan," said the friend.
"The family has no idea why this happened. Clodagh's mother Mary loved Alan as much as Clodagh and doted on the grandchildren. They had a great relationship and she has been left traumatised by what has happened.
"She is as mystified as everyone else locally and across the country as to why this happened but she does not want Alan demonised in any way.
"There were no money issues in the family and he did not have any mental health issues, that is simply not the case."
Gardai have not shared the contents of a note found at the scene of the incident with relatives yet, said the friend.
"We don't know what was in it. The fact is we don't know why this happened or why Alan did what he did," they said. "Clodagh was a beautiful woman, a really super mother who would do anything for those boys. Alan was a brilliant dad."
Clodagh and her boys had spent Sunday evening at granny Mary's house. Earlier that day, the family had attended the Castlerahan Gaelic football match against Kingscourt. Afterwards, they went to a basketball match at Virginia College in which eldest son Liam played for the U-16 East Cavan Eagles.
"There was no inkling whatsoever of any sort of problems," said the friend.
"Clodagh was in great form and the boys were looking forward to going back to school. All the uniforms and books had been got and it was a normal, happy evening.
"There is this suggestion that perhaps family or friends had come across some sort of warning signs but that is simply not the case at all. There were no signs, not one."
The family was discovered by gardai when Clodagh's mother called to the home to mind the children but instead found a note warning her not to enter the house but to call gardai instead.
The funeral mass will be held at St Mary's Church in Castlerahan, just across the road from the school where Alan was vice-principal and where Niall and Ryan were pupils.
The remains of the family will repose at Finnegan's Funeral Home in Cavan town on Friday from 3pm to 8pm.
Garda forensic officers and detectives spent a third day at the Hawe home yesterday trying to piece together how the tragedy happened.
Just under two kilometres away, staff at Castlerahan National School were trying to make it as normal a day as possible for the pupils there.
At 3pm, as the bell rang for the end of the day, the teachers lined up outside to wave the pupils off.
The car park and side road were jammed with parents' cars as they waited to collect their children.
Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service have visited the school and are supporting and advising the teachers in their efforts to explain the tragic event to pupils.
Teachers and parents are also being supported at Oristown National School in Co Meath, where Clodagh was a highly-respected teacher.
The GAA and basketball clubs have cancelled all games as a mark of respect to the family. Yesterday, the local community was still struggling to terms with the tragedy.
Castlerahan GAA club chairman Noel Barkley said members and the wider community were "shocked and grief-stricken" by the death of the five family members.
Hawe had become treasurer of the club earlier this year.
Karen Fitzpatrick, principal of Virginia College, where the eldest boy Liam was a pupil, said the teenager was at the heart of the school community.
"Liam was a warm, friendly young man and an excellent student," she said.
"He was a member of the student council and a great sportsman. His passing is a huge loss."