Suicide Verdict For Alan Hawe After Cavan Inquest

Elaine Stenson
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A medical expert says he believes a man who killed his wife and three sons had a severe mental illness at the time the deaths occurred.

Alan Hawe murdered his wife Clodagh and their three sons in their home in County Cavan in August 2016, taking his own life afterwards.

Psychotherapist, David McConnell, told the hearing he first met Alan Hawe in March 2016 and sat through 10 counselling sessions with him.

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McConnell believed Alan Hawe was open during his sessions and placed a high value on family life and on being a good husband and father.

However, the professional thought Mr. Hawe was stressed in his last session on June 21st and was suffering from fear of shame of being less than perfect.

The psychotherapist said that Alan Hawe had previously stated: “People think of me as a pillar of the community. If only they knew.”

Mr. McConnell said Alan Hawe showed no signs of harming himself or others when he arrived at counselling.

During their last session, Alan Hawe also visited his GP who said she knew nothing of his counselling.

She revealed the father-of-three was stressed, had mouth ulcers and had a toenail problem which he had used bleach on.

Alan had confided he was suffering from insomnia and was concerned about a conflict that had arisen with a work colleague.

An external medical expert, Professor Harry Kennedy, reviewed Alan’s medical history and a suicide note found at the scene of the murders, saying in his opinion at the time of the killings Alan Hawe had progressed from a long standing depressive illness to a more severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms.

He said Alan Hawe seemed to have delusional beliefs that were not rooted in reality.

Professor Kennedy said in the course of a severe mental illness people’s judgement can be severely impaired and he believes this is what happened in this case.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing for Clodagh and her three sons Liam, Niall and Ryan with a verdict of suicide for Alan Hawe.

If you have been affected by any of the issues presented, you can find information on mental health support services at www.yourmentalhealth.ie