Niall, Ryan, Liam with their mum Clodagh. Picture: Supplied
Niall, Ryan, Liam with their mum Clodagh. Picture: Supplied

Man murders wife, three kids before taking his own life

WARNING: Graphic

PRIMARY school vice-principal Alan Hawe apologised for the manner in which he killed his wife and three kids to death - but claimed he had no choice.

In a bloodstained note which was found at their home in Cavan, Ireland, he also claimed the family of five were "happy" on the day he took their lives before taking his own, The Sun reports.

"I'm sorry for how I murdered them all but I had no other way," he wrote, according to the Irish Daily Star .

Hawe killed his family as he faced the prospect of his marriage breaking up, it emerged yesterday.

The 40-year-old used knives, a hatchet and his bare hands to slay his teacher wife Clodagh, 39, and their children Liam, 14, Niall, 11, and Ryan, six, before he took his own life in August 2016.

 

The Irish Sun has also learned Hawe's feared his "fall" from grace was over a "sexual matter". Psychiatrist Harry Kennedy said Hawe had a "severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms".

Deranged Hawe hid a dark secret ­leading to his ­murder spree, telling his psychotherapist: "People think of me as a pillar of the community. If only they knew."

An inquest jury yesterday returned verdicts of unlawful killing in the cases of ­Clodagh and her sons, while a verdict of suicide was returned for Hawe.

Speaking after the inquest into the deaths, Clodagh's relatives revealed Hawe had carried out the atrocity as he faced the prospect of his marriage breaking up.

The grieving family of his victims also told how locally respected Hawe was about to experience a 'fall' from grace from his position as "a pillar of the community".

The Irish Sun has learned that Hawe's 'fall' was linked to a "sexual matter".

Clodagh's sister Jacqueline Connolly and mum Mary Coll said in a statement: "We are aware that he was concerned at his imminent fall from that position and the breakdown of his marriage."

Psychotherapist David McConnell told the inquest at Cavan District Court yesterday Hawe had been "stressed" the last day he had seen him in June 2016.

He said the vice-principal had wept and said to him: "People think of me as a pillar of the community. If only they knew."

Later, a leading psychiatric expert said Hawe was troubled, depressed and severely ­mentally ill in the months before the deaths.

Professor Harry Kennedy, a consultant forensic psychiatrist and director of the ­Central Mental Hospital, told the hearing he believed that at the time Hawe carried out the murder-suicide, he had progressed from long-term depression to a severe depressive episode with ­psychotic symptoms.

"When people act in the course of severe mental illness, such as very severe psychotic mental illness, their judgment is severely impaired," the professor said.

Prof Kennedy - who never had any direct dealings with Hawe - spoke after reviewing the killer's suicide note and reports from his GP and counsellor.

Admitting he had no involvement with Hawe or any of his family, Prof Kennedy said: "Hindsight is always a very unfair advantage."

But rather than being the sudden actions of a deranged madman, Clodagh's family believe Hawe had a coldly calculating mind.

The Coll family maintain Hawe meticulously planned the murder of his wife and kids - and do not believe the slaughter was the actions of someone who just suddenly had a breakdown.

Clodagh’s sister Jacqueline Connolly and mother Mary Coll at the inquest. Picture: Crispin Rodwell/The Sun
Clodagh’s sister Jacqueline Connolly and mother Mary Coll at the inquest. Picture: Crispin Rodwell/The Sun

The Irish Sun previously revealed Hawe transferred thousands of euros of family funds to his own account after he ­murdered his wife and kids.

He had gone to the trouble of penning his suicide note in advance and even clearing his planned murder path of furniture.

And the Irish Sun understands that during the height of the bloody massacre, he took time out to "put his affairs in order" by laying the family's financial files on the kitchen table.

Mary and Jacqueline said in their statement: "While the psychiatrist has attempted as best he could to create a retrospective diagnosis based on items and records, his GP who knew him for five years said he never displayed any signs of depression."

 

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 for 24-hour Australian counselling services

Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) for 24-hour phone support, online chat, resources and apps.

Workplace Mental Health Institute on 02 8935 3885

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.



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