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Tragic Clodagh's family hope 'change is on way' after Flanagan meeting

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Teacher Clodagh Hawe and her three sons Niall, Ryan and Liam were all killed by Alan Hawe in 2016

Teacher Clodagh Hawe and her three sons Niall, Ryan and Liam were all killed by Alan Hawe in 2016

Teacher Clodagh Hawe and her three sons Niall, Ryan and Liam were all killed by Alan Hawe in 2016

The family of murdered Clodagh Hawe believes that "changes will come" following their meeting with the justice minister.

Cavan teacher Clodagh (39) was killed along with her three young sons by her husband and the children's father, Alan Hawe, in August 2016.

Her sister Jacqueline Connolly and mother Mary Coll met Charlie Flanagan yesterday to discuss retrieving a garda file to help them understand why Hawe (41) killed Clodagh, Liam (13), Niall (11) and six-year-old Ryan before taking his own life.

Reviewed

After the 90-minute meeting, the mother and sister thanked Mr Flanagan for a "satisfactory" discussion and said they planned to meet Garda Commissioner Drew Harris next week.

"We discussed over 10 issues that we would like reviewed following the murders," said Ms Connolly .

"Mr Flanagan had his officials with him and was very receptive.

"We're feeling very positive that changes will come from this.

"We have a meeting next week with the commissioner and we're looking forward to hearing from Mr Harris himself.

"We're not in a position to comment on an inquiry at the minute but we want to say we're happy with today's outcome."

Ms Coll said: "I'm confident now we will have access to the garda files which we haven't been able to access before.

"We just want to thank the minister for such a satisfactory meeting."

Mr Flanagan described the meeting as "lengthy but satisfactory" and said he was struck by the grace and humanity of the family, who he said had been through a horrific ordeal.

"I was very pleased to inform them of an early meeting with the garda commissioner to express their concerns, and a number of concerns were expressed to me in terms of legislative change, and I was very happy to receive their submission," he said.

"I've also asked my officials to report back on proposed changes to the Succession Act and coroners legislation."

Campaigners have been calling for changes to Ireland's Succession Act, which currently allows the perpetrator of a spousal homicide to become the beneficiary of the couple's joint assets.

Inquiry

"One of the issues we discussed was to establish national research on family homicide and this is something I'm very keen to pursue," added Mr Flanagan.

The family, backed by the National Women's Council of Ireland, have called for an independent review into Clodagh's death. However, Mr Flanagan did not give any confirmation that he would commission such an inquiry.

"The independent research that I commissioned will be helpful in that regard, but many of the issues that were put with me can be dealt with through my department or through the garda commissioner and other agencies, and I'd be happy to engage with them," he said.


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