An evil Irish deputy headteacher killed his entire family then hanged himself. He targeted his wife and eldest son first because he feared they would fight him off. He then slit his two youngest sons’ necks before he hanged himself, their inquest heard yesterday.
Their three children Liam, 14, Niall, 11, and Ryan, 6, were found dead in their home near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, Ireland, his eldest boys Liam, 14, and Niall, 11, had defensive wounds on their hands and arms, as did their mother Clodagh.
Mrs Clodagh, 39, was found lying face down in her pyjamas and dressing gown on the sitting room sofa. She had suffered severe head and neck injuries and there was a large pool of blood under the chair. A small axe and a knife with Alan Hawe’s hand print was found beside the sofa. Two of the boys, Liam and Niall, were found in their beds in the upstairs room they shared. They had no signs of life and they had their duvets on them. A knife was found in the bedroom. Six-year-old Ryan was found alone in his bedroom and also had a duvet over him. Another knife was found on his pillow, the inquest heard. Mr Hawe was found hanged in the hall.
Dr Curtis told the hearing that he found it ‘very difficult to believe that it’s entirely coincidental’ that three of the victims suffered wounds below the Adam’s apple that would ‘have rendered all three of them unable to make a sound’.
A toxicology test showed Hawe had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his death.
Dr Curtis was asked by Coroner Mary Flanagan if his examinations offered any insight into who died first. ‘It’s impossible to say with certainty,’ he said. However, he said his impression was that Hawe killed Clodagh and the eldest boy Liam initially before killing younger sons Niall and Ryan.
‘By dispatching Clodagh and the older boy first, he would have rendered the possibility of a physical challenge less likely, but I don’t have any firm evidence,’ he said.