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Exclusive: Body of Cavan teacher Alan Hawe who murdered wife and children exhumed from family grave

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 10/05/2017 Jilly Beattie
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The body of mass killer Alan Hawe was exhumed this morning from the family grave he had shared with his victims for 250 days.

For the first time, the remains of Clodagh Hawe and her three children were allowed to rest in peace without the monster by their side.

The grave was opened at 5.40am with light rising over the hill at Castlerahan, Co Cavan within view of the now-empty Hawe family home.

And the mass killer’s coffin was finally hauled out of the ground by a team of undertakers.

It was cleaned off ready to be removed to a waiting hearse.

But this time it would not a gleaming car strewn with funereal flowers - it would be a van, described in polite terms as a private ambulance.

And with Gardai ready to ensure the road out of the village was cleared of traffic, the van was due to its 60 miles journey to Finglas Rd and the Glasnevin Crematorium.

From there his ashes will be transported to Kilkenny to his family home.

In his letter left at the bloodied house in which he had executed his wife and children before taking his own life, he had asked to be cremated and then that his ashes would be scattered at sea.

Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick

The 40-year-old worked as deputy principal at a primary school, was once respected as a family man with values his community to aspired to.

But five days after he committed mass murder inside their lovely detached home just outside Castlerahan, Hawe was buried with his wife Clodagh, 39, and their three sons, Liam, 14, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan.

The devoted mum and her children were found in the home by local gards who had been called by Clodagh’s mother Mary Coll after she discovered a note pinned by their killer on the door of the house.

Hawe, a leading light in the Church and the local GAA scene, murdered his family using knives, a hatchet and his bare hands in a sustained and systematic attack before he took his own life by hanging in their Co Cavan home last August.

As Clodagh Hawe, a teacher researched family holidays on the computer, her husband had murder in mind as he gathered weapons from around the house and garage.

Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick

COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick

And with her innocent thoughts of sunshine family holidays still stored on-line, Clodagh became Hawe’s first victim.

She fought for her life but at barely eight stones, she was powerless against her attacker’s weight, strength and determination.

Hawe killed once, then again - and again - and again.

And after he meted out the senseless and bloody brutality he pinned a note to the back door of the family home warning the next visitor not to step into the scene of devastation he left behind.

Inside the house, he left a letter in which he apologised for his actions, begged for forgiveness and detailed his sick reasons behind the murders.

He detailed his disturbing fall from grace and left instructions for his funeral, urging that arrangements would ensure that his wife and children buried together and he was cremated and his ashes dumped in the sea.

Tragically those instructions were not shared with Clodagh’s mum Mary Coll, and sister Jacqueline Connolly, until after the funeral.

Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: COPYRIGHT: Irish Mirror/ Philip Fitzpatrick

And at the time of the arrangements both women were so distressed and shocked, little was made sense to them.

The burial of the killer with his victims shocked much of Ireland at the time, with communities still reeling from news of the mass murder-suicide at Castlerahan, near Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan.

Clodagh’s sister Jacqueline Connolly and her mother Mary Coll, had been guided by the Hawe’s family priest at the time, Fr Felim Kelly, but remained otherwise mostly isolated in their grief and with scant contact from the killer’s family.

In their first interview following the murders, Mary and Jacqueline told the Mirror that at the time of arranging the funeral, they were in deep shock and distress and were unaware of the real reasons behind Hawe’s actions.

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Jacqueline told the Daily Mirror last December: “If we had known then what we know now he would never have been buried with them. But we were so shocked, it’s impossible to explain just how deeply distressed and shocked we were.

We were left pretty much alone to deal with the funeral. We were given advice at the time but nothing made any sense.

“He was buried with them, the devil alone was put in that same grave as our beautiful Clodagh and our wonderful boys.

“We were assured that the Alan Hawe who did this was not the Alan Hawe we’d known and loved, and we had been so fooled by him and we were in a trance of grief.

“Now we know that in fact we’d never really known the real Alan Hawe, an evil, wicked man.

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“We were so confused and stunned during the week when the funeral was arranged. That man ended up being buried with them. The horror of that, given what we know now, is indescribable.

“We hope that some day we will be able to do justice for Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan. We hope one day they will rest together in peace. That’s the least they deserve.”

Today fresh flowers sit on the newly arrange grave, elegant lillies and roses dedicated to Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan.

The marker that indicated Alan Hawe’s remains, etched by a vandal with the word ‘EVIL’, has been removed - and gone too, finally, is Alan Hawe.

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