Local community in shock after Cavan tragedy

Bodies of Alan and Clodagh Hawe and their three sons were discovered yesterday


Hearses leave the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan | Photo: PA Wire

The Bishop of Kilmore says the death of the Hawe family in Cavan is incomprehensible and unbelievably sad.

Gardaí are investigating the five deaths in Barconey as an apparent murder and suicide.

Locals are struggling to come to terms with the loss of the family, who were involved in all aspects of the community.

Bishop Leo O'Reilly says the local priest is struggling to cope, as the Hawe family were very much involved in the church and wider community.

Postmortem tests are being used to identify what caused the deaths - but detectives say there was no evidence a firearm was used during the killings.

The bodies of five members of the Hawe family were found in their house in Ballyjamesduff yesterday.

Father and mother Alan and Clodagh - and their three sons Liam, Niall and Ryan - were all found dead.

The local community is struggling to come to terms with their loss.

Castlerahan National School – where the father worked, and two of the boys were pupils – said it was a "terrible tragedy" for the community.

"We are deeply saddened by this event," the school said in a statement.

"Our sympathy and our thoughts are with the extended family and friends.

"Alan was a valued member of our school staff and community. Niall and Ryan were pupils in our school and Liam was a past pupil. They were wonderful children who will be greatly missed by all who knew them."

Oristown National School, where the mother taught, also expressed its condolences.

"We are deeply saddened by this event.  Our sympathies and thoughts are with Clodagh’s family and friends.

"Clodagh was a much loved and valued teacher in our school and will be greatly missed by all who knew her."

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service have been providing support to both schools.

'Engaged with the community'

Superintendent John O’Driscoll told reporters yesterday evening that two officers made the discovery after receiving a call from a concerned member of the public.

"What we can confirm is that we're not looking for anyone else. We believe all the answers are in that house," he said.

"The most likely scenario is that one person in that house may have caused the death of others.

"All the circumstances will be explored but as it stands at the moment that is the position."

The property has been sealed off, and a number of objects are being given a "detailed technical examination".

Gardaí are talking to neighbours and family members, but Mr O'Driscoll told reporters there did not appear to be any prior suspicions.

"Nothing had happened prior to this grim discovery this morning that gave rise to anyone having any suspicion that anything was untoward and this family were engaged with the community and seen yesterday," he said.

"None of the activity and interaction with other people gave rise to any suspicion as to what was to happen."

Three of the bodies were found upstairs in bedrooms, while the other two were in a downstairs room.

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact The Samaritans on 116 123, e-mail jo@samaritans.org - or see a list of services here