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26th Feb 2019

‘That’s not the truth’ Family of Clodagh Hawe request new inquiry into murders

Jade Hayden

“He said the truth was going to come out sometime. We don’t know what that truth is.”

The family of Clodagh Hawe have requested a new inquiry into the murder of the 39-year-old woman and her children.

Clodagh and her three sons, Liam, Niall, and Ryan, were murdered brutally by Alan Hawe in their Co Cavan home in 2016.

An inquest into the murders stated that Alan had been suffering from depression that later progressed to “psychotic” episodes.

Clodagh’s family, however, have said that they don’t believe this to be the truth.

Her mother Mary Coll and sister Jacqueline Connolly appeared on RTE’s Claire Byrne Live last night to demand a new inquiry into Clodagh’s death and to seek any information about the murders that may protect other victims.

“I wanted to shout from the rooftops, that’s not the truth, that’s not what happened,” said Mary.

“We’ve been controlled since this happened by our decency, our sense of decency, but it’s not easy to sit and talk about this.

“That is evil. That is not depression. That is force brutality and it is control.”

Jacqueline said that her family received a copy of Alan’s suicide letter 16 months after he murdered his family.

She said that having to wait this amount of time is “wrong on so many levels.”

“He said in his letter, ‘If it’s any consolation, we were happy. Clodagh was happy, the boys were happy, we were happy,'” she said.

“It’s very rare you would hear someone suffering from depression say that they were happy.”

Last month, Mary and Jacqueline were refused their request for copies of the Garda files from the initial investigation.

They are now asking Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to address the issue of family annihilation and set up a special dedicated unit for familicide.

“There was no initial support,” said Jacqueline. “I remember the Monday, myself and Mam trying to contact people and there was nobody there.

“We were seeing things online and we were ringing our family liaison officer at one point to say ‘please tell me he didn’t kill her with an axe’.

“So it was the media that was informing us more so than anybody else initially.”

Mary and Jacqueline are also calling on the media and the public to not assume mental illness when a man murders his partner or family.

They believe that the murders were premeditated and that the whole truth has not yet been told.

“We feel an injustice has been done to Clodagh and the boys. And we feel that we need the truth. He said he was leading them to a life of ruin essentially and Clodagh would have to clean up his mess.

“We still don’t know what that mess is.”

You can watch Mary and Jacqueline’s interview in full on the RTE Player.