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Family members found dead in their beds following 'murder suicide'

Family members found dead in their beds following 'murder suicide'

Three members of the family brutally knifed to death in a horrific murder-suicide were discovered in their beds, according to gardai.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll told reporters that two of the deceased were found in a downstairs room and three were found upstairs.

During the press briefing at Ballyjamesduff Garda Station Asst Comm O’Driscoll confirmed that three of those found were in their bedrooms.

Gardai believe that primary school teacher Alan Hawe stabbed his wife first, before knifing his three sons, aged 13, 11 and six, to death in their beds.

Hawe is believed to have turned the knife on himself after killing his wife and children.

Gardai are not searching for anyone else in connection with the tragedy.

It is understood that the family have lived in the area for some time, and were well-known and were heavily involved in the local GAA scene.

Asst Comm O'Driscoll said that gardai are aware members of the family were seen in the local community yesterday.

"We're working on very definite lines of enquiry and we will do our best to advance the case as quick as possible, baring in mind the people involved and affected by this need time to deal with the tragic situation," he said.

"We are that they were in the community yesterday and are aware of a number of people that they spoke with. We haven't dealt with every interaction that they've had.

"Over the coming days more information will be revealed," he said, adding that "All we can do is help the [extended] family members."

He said they have identified everyone they feel may be of assistance in the investigation.

Local councillor Paddy Smith had only arrived back into Ballyjamesduff this afternoon, and said the whole area is “shocked”.

“It’s just complete shock,” Mr Smith said.

“I only heard about it and rang a couple of people and everyone is shocked.

“If there is five people dead, it’s tragic, no matter what.

“It’s just hard to get your head around the whole thing,” he added.

The area has been sealed off and the State Pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau have been called in.