Tuesday 16 January 2018

Tributes paid to three murdered brothers as family set for funerals

Floral tributes and messages left outside the Hawe family home in Co Cavan Picture: Caroline Quinn
Floral tributes and messages left outside the Hawe family home in Co Cavan Picture: Caroline Quinn

Flowers and footballs have been left outside the house of the murder-suicide Hawe family.

Teacher Alan Hawe (41) killed his wife Clodagh (39) and their three sons at their home just outside Ballyjamesduff, Co Cav-an, before taking his own life.

The couple's bodies were found downstairs on Monday morning, while the bodies of their sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and six-year-old Ryan were found in bedrooms upstairs.

Yesterday, flowers were laid at the scene by friends and family. They included a floral tribute from the local garda station.


"Rest in peace. Will be greatly missed. Hard working, talented boys and a pleasure to teach piano," read a card on one of the dozen floral tributes.

Another, from a close family member, read: "To my beautiful boys and wonderful parents. You will be sadly missed and loved."

Only a few minutes from the house, at the Castlerahan Community Grounds, a tribute in a childish hand was written on a GAA ball.

"Liam, RIP with your brothers," it read.

Alan Hawe was vice-principal of Castlerahan National School where Niall and Ryan were pupils.

The bodies have been released to the extended family and will repose at Lakelands Funeral Home in Cavan. Mourners can pay their respects from 3pm until 8pm this evening.

The family will be laid to rest together following a funeral mass in St Mary's Church, opposite Castlerahan National School tomorrow.

Relatives have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the country's leading suicide prevention charity, Pieta House.

Mourners have been advised that a donation box will be available in the church during the funeral mass at 4pm tomorrow. Donations can also be made through Finnegan funeral directors.

People from all over the world have expressed their sympathies in a book of condolences opened online.

A note from a "Ballyjamesduff mother" reads: "Let the tears flow, feel the pain and if possible let some happy memories etch through in what is an immense tragedy and loss of young lives. Truly heartbreaking."

Another Cavan mother wrote simply that "there are no words to comfort", while a Galway mourner believed there are not "any words to ease your heartache".

"To even try to process this awful tragedy, I wouldn't even know where to begin. I pray for those left behind," they added.

It is understood that relatives made the decision to bury the family together as they do not wish to "demonise" Hawe.

"Whatever happened to Alan, the Alan we knew was a kind, caring father and we won't let that slip away now," said a family friend.

"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."

If you have been affected by issues in this article you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123

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