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Family of murdered woman Clodagh Hawe to meet Garda Commissioner

Clodagh’s family met with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan today.

Clodagh Hawe (right) with her sister Jacqueline (centre) and mother Mary (left).
Clodagh Hawe (right) with her sister Jacqueline (centre) and mother Mary (left).

THE FAMILY OF Clodagh Hawe, who was murdered along with her three children in 2016, will meet with the Garda Commissioner, it was confirmed today.

Alan and Clodagh Hawe and their three children – Liam (14), Niall (11), and six-year-old Ryan – were found dead in their Cavan home in August 2016.

An inquest the following year concluded that Clodagh and her three sons were unlawfully killed by Alan who took his own life after the murders at their home at Oakdene, Balcony, Ballyjamesduff. 

The jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing, due to head and neck injuries caused by a knife and an axe to Clodagh while in the case of Niall, Liam and Ryan, unlawful killing was recorded and the cause of death was stab wounds to their necks.

On Monday, on a Claire Byrne Live special, Clodagh’s mother Mary Coll and sister Jacqueline Connolly spoke for the first time about the unanswered questions regarding the murders. 

Mary and Jacqueline said while they did not want to do a television interview about the horrors of that night in 2016, they felt they had to.

She couldn’t save herself, she couldn’t save her three children, so it’s up to us to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

“There as so many questions that there are no answers to and we owe it to Clodagh to be her voice,” Mary Coll said. 

Today, the pair met with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Speaking after the meeting, Flanagan said that he had arranged for them to meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. 

“One of the main requests of Mary and Jacqueline was that they would meet the Garda Commissioner. I was happy to be able to tell them that I have arranged for that to happen at an early date,” Flanagan said in a statement. 

Changes to law

The family have also called for a number of changes to how cases similar to theirs are handled. 

They propose that immediately after the conclusion of an inquest in the case of a familicide and family annihilation, that a book of evidence is published and that Tusla, the Child and Family Protection Agency, is responsible for independently monitoring all such cases and maintaining research on familicide perpetrators. 

The family has also called for a review of the Coroner’s Act and laws surrounding exhumations. 

Speaking today, Flanagan said the family had presented him with “an initial submission for consideration on a range of  legislative and other measures to prevent and address matters concerning the unlawful deaths of family members”.

“I am putting arrangements in place at an early date for a study to be conducted on such cases.  It will be carried out to establish if there is a need for special protocols, legislative or other changes for cases like this,” he said.

“The person conducting this research will meet with the family and other similarly affected families, as well as State agencies, to see what is possible and what would help on a systemic basis.

The person appointed will be entirely free to recommend any course of action which she or he considers appropriate.

Anyone affected by issues raised in last night’s Claire Byrne Live programme can contact: 

  • Samaritans on 116 123
  • Pieta House on 1800 247 247
  • Childline on 1800 66 66 66, or text “support” to 50101
  • Women’s Aid on 1800 341 900

With reporting from Adam Daly and Hayley Halpin 

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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