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19th Dec 2017

Alan Hawe had been suffering from severe mental illness, inquest told

The verdict was delivered today.

Keeley Ryan

A verdict has been delivered in the inquest.

An inquest into the deaths of a Cavan family heard that Alan Hawe, who killed his wife and three sons before taking his own life, had been suffering from a severe mental illness.

Clodagh Hawe and her three sons Liam, 14, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan were killed by her husband and their father, Alan, in August 2016 at their family home. He afterwards took his own life.

Professor Harry Kennedy carried out a report for the coroner based on Mr Hawes’ medical records and suicide note, according to RTE.

He said that Mr Hawe had progressed from a long standing depressive illness to a depressive episode with psychotic symptoms.

A jury of six women and one man heard the inquest into the deaths of the family in Cavan courthouse.

An unlawful killing verdict was returned into the deaths of Clodagh Hawe and her three sons, Liam, Niall and Ryan.

A verdict of suicide was returned for Alan Hawe.

Following the verdict, the solicitor who represented Mary Coll, the mother of Clodagh Hawe, said that the family are glad “the ordeal of the inquest is over”.

Mr Liam Keane told RTÉ’s Drivetime that Alan Hawe knew Ms Coll would be the first person to find the note that had been pinned to the house.

He added that “it was clear from the inquest” Mr Hawe told his counsellor “that his position as a pillar of the community was under threat”.

Mr Keane said that the Coll family would’ve been aware of this, and Mr Hawe believed his marriage “was at the point of breakdown”.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the issues in this article you can contact the help-lines below:

  • Samaritans: Freephone – 116 123; Text – 087 2 60 90 90 (standard text rates apply);
  • Pieta House – 1800 247 247.
  • Children and Adolescents can access: Childline Helpline – 1800 66 66 66. Childline – Text “support” to 50101 (available between 10 am – 4am daily).
  • Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline – 1800 341 900.