Lawsuits against property estate of Hawe killer trauma has not disappeared



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The sister of Clodagh Hawe, Jacqueline Connolly and her mother Mary Coll
Photo: David Conachy
The sister of Clodagh Hawe, Jacqueline Connolly and her mother Mary Coll
Photo: David Conachy

Shane Phelan

The proceedings initiated by Clodagh Hawe's mother and sister against his killer's estate are the latest in a series of recent and dramatic developments related to the tragedy.

Clodagh and her three children were brutally murdered by husband and father Alan Hawe, who then took his own life. The trauma experienced by relatives has not faded since that fateful day of 2016.

The legal actions envisaged by Clodagh's mother Mary Coll and sister Jacqueline Connolly were flagged a few weeks ago at the time of her harrowing interview with RTÉ's Claire Byrne.

Letters of administration were granted by a court to Hawe's father, Stephen, on 27 February. This made Stephen Hawe, the administrator of his son's estate, have the limited purpose of defending legal proceedings against the estate.

The next day, Hawe's mother, Olive, filed a lawsuit against property.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, Clodagh's mother and sister also issued procedures.

Although no claim has been filed to date, the cases are described as "personal injury" actions within the Supreme Court system.

It has been a week full of events for everyone involved in this terrifying tragedy. First came the interview on television in which Coll and Ms Connolly set out in rigid terms the many unanswered questions they had about the murders.

They published their concerns after a copy of the Garda investigation file had been refused. They said that although an inquiry has dealt with who, when and how of the murders, in their view, this does not explain why Professor Hawe killed her family.

They revealed how Hawe was receiving counseling for a pornography addiction.

He made a reference to being caught "in the act", but it was not clear exactly what that meant. Hawe had also been in touch with his union, the INTO, but it was not clear whether this was due to a complaint.

In the interview and in a subsequent Sunday Independent article, they outlined their belief, the Hawe syndicate and the school where he worked could help in the search for answers.

In the newspaper article, Ms. Connolly wrote about how the family "understood the opinion of the investigative team that their thinking seemed to be, Alan Hawe is dead, as well as the people he murdered, so what's the point of discovering possible information that may impact on others and possibly ruin their lives. "

It was also revealed that Hawe transferred funds from a joint account to his own account after carrying out the murders.

His intervention sparked a renewed focus on Celine's Law, a bill to close an apparent breach in inheritance laws that allows a spouse, or his successors, to benefit financially from domestic homicide.

The pressure also led to a serious case review being launched by Police Commissioner Drew Harris in the force's initial response to the tragedy and subsequent investigation.

Then came a statement from the Castlerahan National School where Hawe was deputy director. This dealt with some of the matters that Clodagh's family had raised.

He said that while the school was informed after Hawe's "online activity" murders, Gardai confirmed that he did not visit pornographic sites during the school day and that no evidence had emerged of any inappropriate activity during school hours.

The statement also said that although there was a reference to Hawe being caught "in the act," it had nothing to do with school and it did not happen on school grounds.

Independent Irish

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