Family's relief as killer's body is exhumed from grave
A man who killed his wife and three children before taking his own life in a shocking murder suicide last August has been exhumed from the family grave they were all buried in together.
Alan Hawe (40) killed his wife Clodagh (39) and children Liam (14), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) at their Cavan home last August.
He then left a note on the back door telling whoever called to the house to call the Gardai, and killed himself inside the house.
The family were all buried together side by side in the same plot in the small graveyard in St Mary’s Church in the town of Castlerahan.
A source close to Clodagh Hawe's family told Independent.ie that the decision to remove Alan Hawe's remains was taken by his Co Kilkenny family.
It is understood that Ms Hawe's family asked for them to be removed some time ago.
Her sister Jacqueline Connolly told Independent.ie: "Our beautiful Clodagh, Liam Niall and Ryan should still be alive. At least now they can finally rest in peace."
A licence is understood to have been granted in recent weeks for the exhumation to take place and early this morning at 5.30am a digger commenced taking Alan Hawe’s coffin from the grave.
Sources have said his remains will be brought in an enclosed van to Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin for cremation.
Gardaí attended the scene in Cavan this morning.
There were initially plans to exhume the grave some weeks ago but the ground was too wet.
It was hoped to carry out the grim task during a mid term break when there would be no children in the school opposite the cemetery, but work was carried out at first light this morning in the hope of having the job completed before the school opens.
The family were buried side by side, so removing Alan Hawe’s coffin, which was positioned on the left of the plot, was relatively straightforward and did not involve disturbing the graves of Clodagh and the children.
The inquest into the family’s death is expected to take place later this year.
Since the incident, Clodagh's family have fundraised for Women's Aid. The family said they were hoping to help others.
Clodagh's sister Jacqueline Connolly said: "We are in the very early stages of setting up a committee with a view to doing the Women's Mini-Marathon in June in memory of
Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan. We hope to raise funds from this, with a view to setting up a refuge in Cavan."
Ms Connolly said there was no facility in Co Cavan for victims of domestic abuse.
"One woman a day from Cavan is turned away from other refuges due to lack of accommodation and facilities," she said.
On the funding page created earlier this year, the family wrote;
"Clodagh was strong and beautiful inside and out and was so loving.
"She was warm, loving, bright and capable and she was bringing her boys Liam, Niall and Ryan, up to have those same qualities. They will live on and her strength will live on.
"We want their deaths to help other women who are living in fear and isolation in their own homes. So please support our fundraising appeal for Women’s Aid.
"One in five women in Ireland experience domestic abuse and many women are isolated and alone.
"Women’s Aid runs the 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 which is a confidential service for women affected by domestic abuse.
"Their work makes a life-changing difference and we hope the donations made in Clodagh’s name will help them be there to listen, to believe and to support women. Every single time."
More to follow
If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this post, please feel free to contact Samaritans at 116 123 or by emailing [email protected], or contact Women's Aid on freephone 1800 341 900