By Sarah Mac Donald - 30 August, 2016
Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore has appealed to the faithful to unite in prayer at Masses throughout the diocese and beyond for the five members of the Hawe family who were found dead in Co Cavan on Monday.
In a statement last night, the bishop said it was with great sadness that he heard the news of the deaths of the family, who lived in Barconey, in the parish of Castlerahan.
“As Bishop of Kilmore and patron of St Mary’s National School, Castlerahan, I know that I speak for all people of faith and of goodwill when I express my heartfelt prayerful sympathy to the relatives, friends and neighbours of the deceased,” he said.
Bishop O’Reilly described families as the cornerstone of parish communities, and he said the sudden loss of one young family, in “such a shocking way, is unbearable and near impossible to comprehend”.
“Especially now – as the new school year begins – my thoughts and prayers are with the school friends and the teachers of the children who have died in this family tragedy.
“At this time of intense human loss I ask the faithful to unite in prayer at Masses throughout the diocese and beyond for those who have died, and for those who grieve for them. May faith and friendship comfort and console them in their sadness.”
Separately, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh tweeted last night, “In prayer tonight are all those shocked and saddened by the terrible family tragedy in Co Cavan. God hold them in the palm of his hand.”
Gardaí are treating the deaths as a murder-suicide. They were called to the house where they discovered Alan Hawe, who was in his 40s, Clodagh Hawe who was in her 30s and their three sons Niall, Ryan and Liam who were 13, 11 and six.
The alarm was raised at about 10.45am when a relative called to the house and became suspicious. They contacted Gardaí and a search of the house was conducted.
Three bodies were found upstairs and two downstairs. It is believed the couple was found downstairs and the boys were found upstairs in bedrooms.
No firearms were found in the house.
Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths, but have asked anyone with information that may assist the investigation to come forward.
Mr Hawe was deputy principal at Castlerahan National School, where his sons Niall and Ryan were pupils.
Mrs Hawe was also a teacher at Oristown National School.