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30th Aug 2021

‘Nothing has changed’ : Clodagh Hawe’s family are still fighting for justice

Melissa Carton

It has been five years since Clodagh Hawe and her children were murdered.

In August of 2016, 39-year-old Clodagh and her sons Liam (13), Niall (11), and Ryan (6) were murdered by her husband, Alan Hawe, at their Castlerahan home.

Since the horrific murders, the family of Clodagh have said that they have been fighting constant battles, first in regards to having Clodagh and the boys buried separately from Alan and now for justice.

The family also came into legal troubles when they wanted Alan’s body exhumed from the grave he shared with his wife and three children.

Clodagh’s mother and sister said they felt like they had no rights when they discovered they would have to ask Alan’s family for permission to remove his body from the shared grave.

They were also shocked to find that under the Succession Act, they were entitled to nothing as the Hawe family would be the sole beneficiaries as Alan had transferred all of the family’s money into his account before murdering them and then taking his own life.

Speaking on their shocked discovery, Clodagh’s sister Jacqueline said;

“It must be reformed as soon as possible so that murderers, or their family if they end their own life, do not financially benefit from their crime.
Trying to get answers to our questions, plus the expenses for the funerals and legal costs we had for the inquest, have all added up to more than €50,000 – bills my mother, retired, and I, a widow, are struggling to pay.”

Clodagh’s mother Mary and her sister Jacqueline are currently still awaiting the outcome of a serious case review first agreed to by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in March 2019.

The pledge, to examine any possible flaws in how the Hawe murder-suicide investigation transpired, initially overseen by now Superintendent James O’Leary, is being headed-up by the assistant Garda Commissioner Barry O’Brien.

If successful it could see a change in how domestic homicides are reviewed in Ireland.

Speaking recently Jacqueline said that change has to happen now for victims of domestic homicides;

“Something has to change, but nothing has changed. We still have no answers. A serious case review was fought hard for at that meeting [with Comm Harris].

He could tell us things we never knew about the case no one else told us.”

Ahead of the anniversary mass held for Clodagh and her sons last Saturday, Clodagh’s mum Mary said;

“If something terrible had happened, she’d be the one telling us ‘you have to keep going, we have to keep at this’. Because that’s the kind she was, always positive, so we have to do this for her if nothing else.”