Monday 18 December 2017

The request to remove killer dad's body was made just weeks after the funerals

The family grave at St Mary’s Church, Castlerahan, after Alan’s body was removed yesterday
The family grave at St Mary’s Church, Castlerahan, after Alan’s body was removed yesterday

The family of Clodagh Hawe requested the remains of her husband, who murdered the teacher and their three children, be exhumed from their burial plot shortly after their funeral, it has emerged.

Alan Hawe killed his wife and three children - Liam (14), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) - before taking his own life at their home in the townland of Castlerahan, near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, last August.

Hawe murdered his family and then left a note on the back door of their home telling whoever called to ring the gardai before killing himself inside the house.

The family were buried together side by side in the same plot in the small graveyard at the local St Mary's Church.

But yesterday Alan Hawe's body was exhumed and later cremated in Dublin.


It has emerged that Clodagh Hawe's sister Jacqueline Connolly and mother Mary Coll requested that his remains be removed a short time after the funeral last September.

A licence was granted in March to do so.

Clodagh's family had then requested that the body be removed ahead of her 40th birthday on Easter Sunday, but this did not happen.

In a statement released yesterday, Alan Hawe's family said they had received anonymous threats since the tragedy.

The Co Kilkenny family also insisted they played no part in the decision about where he was to be buried after the deaths, and said they exhumed his body when requested to do so.

The statement, issued by solicitor Michael Lannigan on behalf of the Hawe family, confirmed the exhumation took place after a licence was granted by Cavan County Council.

"The Hawe family had been requested by the Coll family to make that application. The Hawes agreed to same. The Hawe family had not previously been involved in the decision as to where Alan was buried," the statement said.

"Over the last number of months the parents of Alan Hawe have received threats from persons unknown which have added to the devastating losses that they have suffered of their son, grandchildren and daughter-in-law.

"They would hope that they, and the Coll family would now be left in peace."

In their statement, the Hawe family denied that they alone decided when and how the body should be removed.

"The timing of the exhumation was decided by the professionals who dealt with the exhumation and in that regard there was no substance to any suggestion that it was delayed for any reason by the Hawes," the family statement said.


"The Hawe family wish to thank the Cavan County Council officials, the HSE officials and the gardai who provided all possible assistance relating to this over the last couple of months."

The statement added that the Hawe family now wished to be "left in peace" before adding the tragic deaths will be the subject of an inquest later this year.

Since the tragedy, Clodagh's family have gone through a number of life events without her and the boys.

"Niall should have made his confirmation in April. Liam should be preparing for his Junior Cert, all his class are doing it in a couple of weeks. Clodagh should have celebrated her 40th last month," they said.

Her sister Jacqueline and friends are planning to run the Women's Mini Marathon next month to raise funds for the Cavan Lighthouse.

"Our beautiful Clodagh, Liam Niall and Ryan should still be alive. At least now they can finally rest in peace," she said.

"We are in the very early stages of setting up a committee with a view to doing the Women's Mini Marathon in June in memory of Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan.

"We hope to raise funds from this, with a view to setting up a refuge in Cavan."

Jacqueline said there was no facility in Co Cavan for victims of domestic abuse.

"One woman a day from Cavan is turned away from other refuges due to a lack of accommodation and facilities," she said.

"Clodagh was strong and beautiful inside and out and was so loving," the family wrote on a funding page created earlier this year.

"She was warm, loving, bright and capable and she was bringing her boys Liam, Niall and Ryan up to have those same qualities.

"They will live on and her strength will live on.

"We want their deaths to help other women who are living in fear and isolation in their own homes. So please support our fundraising appeal for Women's Aid.

"One in five women in Ireland experience domestic abuse and many women are isolated and alone."

Women's Aid operates the 24-hour National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 which is a confidential service for women affected by domestic abuse.

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