Alan, Clodagh, Liam (13), Ryan (11) and Niall (6) remembered in prayers

Alan, Clodagh, Liam (13), Ryan (11) and Niall (6) remembered in prayers

Prayers have been said for the Hawe family at St Nicholas Church in Windgap as the community rallies around Stephen and Olive Hawe following the deaths of five members of their family.

As news filtered through on Monday that Alan Hawe, his wife Clodagh and their three sons - Liam, Ryan and Niall had been killed people were in disbelief. The Hawe family are hugely respected in the rural and tightly-knit parish of Windgap.

Parish priest, Fergus Farrell told the Kilkenny People that the family are being prayed for at the daily Mass at St Nicholas Church.

“Our thoughts and prayers are all with the Hawe family at this time,” he said.

Alan is the son of Stephen and Olive Hawe and is from Lamogue, a townland approximately two miles on the Tullahought side of the village of Windgap.

The deputy principal had lived in Cavan for a number of years but continued to visit his parents on a regular basis. Alan and his family were 'adored' in the locality and the three young brothers spent much of their holidays in the Windgap area.

Just 48 hours earlier Alan and the children had been at his grandmother's anniversary Mass at St Nicholas' Church in the village.

Stunned members of the community are trying to come to terms with this awful tragedy. Words are hard to find to articulate the emotions as people try in some meaningful way to show their support to the grieving families.

Stephen and Olive Hawe and their children - Alan, Enda and PJ and their extended family are highly regarded in the locality.

The Hawes are from a farming background and Stephen worked in the creamery in Windgap for a number of years.

Enda is a very successful farmer in New Zealand and was previously named dairy farmer of the year. The youngest brother PJ lives in Kildare.

Both Alan and Enda were renowned handball and hurling players. Alan played hurling for Windgap up to under-21 level.

“Alan was home on a regular basis and he was only here visiting last weekend with the children,” said Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Matt Doran.

“The whole community is in shock - everyone is just stunned. It is hard to find words,” he said.

Cllr Doran described Alan as a 'very quiet, respectful and decent man who was an upstanding member of the community'.

“There is not a person who would have a bad word to say about Alan or any of the Hawe family,” he said.

Meanwhile Castlerahan National School have issued a statement. Alan taught at the school and his two of his children, Niall and Ryan were pupils there. Liam was a past pupil at the school.

“They were wonderful children who will be greatly missed by all who knew them.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school and our community. We aredeeply saddened by this event. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the extended family and friends,' said principal, Anne Foley.

Principal at Oristown National School, Ann O’Kelly Lynch said that Clodagh Hawe was 'a much-loved and valued teacher' at the school and 'will be greatly missed by all who knew her'.

The couple and their children were found dead at their home in Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan on Monday morning. Gardaí are continuing their investigations but are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths which are being treated as a murder/suicide.

Assistant Commissioner, John O'Driscoll said that he believed 'all the answers are in that house'.

“We are working along very definite lines of inquiry. The most likely scenario is that one person in that house may have caused the deaths of others.”

Anyone affected by this article can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

Funeral arrangements have not been disclosed,