'IT WAS SAVAGE, CALCULATED... HE EXECUTED THEM' Clodagh's Family Deliver Devastating Statement and Query the Psychiatrist's Retrospective Diagnosis of Mental Illness; Family Still Perplexed by Savagery

Daily Mail (London), December 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

'IT WAS SAVAGE, CALCULATED... HE EXECUTED THEM' Clodagh's Family Deliver Devastating Statement and Query the Psychiatrist's Retrospective Diagnosis of Mental Illness; Family Still Perplexed by Savagery


Byline: Michelle O'Keeffe and Catherine Fegan

THE family of Clodagh Hawe have rejected claims that her husband was suffering from a mental illness when he 'executed' his wife and three children.

Alan Hawe's imminent fall from his position as 'a pillar of the community' and the breakdown of his marriage led him to kill his family in a 'premeditated and calculated manner', her family said yesterday.

However, the family said they are still searching for answers as to 'why Alan Hawe committed this savagery'.

Deputy school principal Hawe 'savagely and brutally killed' Clodagh and their three sons - Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan - on August 29 last year in their home at Oakdene Downs, Barcony, near Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan.

The family said in a statement that Alan Hawe's GP - who knew him for five years - never detected symptoms of depression.

Hawe's GP Dr Paula McKevitt said he told her he felt run-down and that he'd had conflict with a work colleague, which had been causing him significant stress.

However, she didn't detect any symptoms of depression and he never told her he had attended a counsellor on the same day that he visited her.

Psychotherapist David McConnell told the inquest in Cavan Courthouse yesterday that Hawe attended ten counselling sessions with him and was stressed by the fear of the shame of being seen as less than perfect.

His goal, the therapist said, was 'to get family life back the way it was'.

But he gave no indication of any intention to harm himself or anyone else, Mr McConnell said.

Hawe cancelled any further sessions with the therapist after his last session on June 24 - just over two months before he would commit a gruesome murder-suicide that would shock the nation.

During his last session Hawe wept as he told Mr McConnell, 'People think of me as a pillar of the community, if only they knew', the court heard.

Yesterday Clodagh Hawe's family rejected psychiatrist Professor Harry Kennedy's diagnosis that Alan Hawe was suffering from a severe mental illness.

In a statement, they pointed to the 'premeditated' and 'calculated' way in which he carried out the murders, ensuring that his eldest son Liam and wife Clodagh, who were most likely to put up the most resistance, were silenced first.

This followed on from testimony from deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, who said he believed it was no coincidence that Hawe cut his wife and sons' throats in the same way that rendered them unable to utter a cry for help.

In their heartbreakingly frank statement, Clodagh Hawe's family said of their loved ones: 'They were savagely and brutally killed by Alan Hawe in a premeditated and calculated manner.

'We are aware that the inquest has a limited role in law - in that its function is restricted to establishing how, where and when our loved ones died.

'However, it is clear from the evidence presented that Clodagh and the boys were killed in a sequence that ensured that the eldest and most likely to provide effective resistance were killed first, and that they were executed in a man-ner which rendered them unable to cry out for help.

'The inquest does not address why Alan Hawe committed this savagery but his counsellor has said that he was concerned about his position as "a pillar of the community", and we are aware that he was concerned at his imminent fall from that position and the breakdown of his marriage. While the psychiatrist has attempted as best he could to create a retrospective diagnosis based on items and records, his GP who knew him for five years said he never displayed any signs of depression.'

Clodagh's mother Mary Coll even challenged psychiatrist Prof. Kennedy's diagnosis - given after Hawe's death - that the father of three's illness had 'progressed from long-term depression to a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms'. …

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