Irish school vice-principal who murdered own family bore signs of depression - Inquest

Alan Hawe who reportedly suffered from mental illness killed his family over a fear of losing his position as the head.

Coroner Dr. Mary Flanagan who investigated the slaughtering of the educationist's wife Clodagh and sons Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) at their Co Cavan home in August, 2016, advised the jury on the case to give a verdict of an unlawful killing. For Hawe, she submitted that an assumption of “self inflicted death or suicide” is apt.

Liam Keane, who spoke on behalf of Clodagh's mother Mary Coll and sister, Jacqueline Connolly, disclosed that the victims were slain in a manner that made it impossible for them to cry out for help, the BBC News reports.

The leading UK public service broadcaster also mentioned in its report that Alan Hawe was worried about losing his position as the head of his family as well as fears regarding the collapse of his marriage. He reportedly sequenced the killings to begin with members who are likely to pose a tough resistance as he attempted the murder - his wife Clodagh and eldest son Liam.

Stephen and Olive Hawe, the parents of the Irish school principal, were still in an intense state of anguish following the tragedy. The revelation concerning his depressive condition before the deaths did not lighten their pain by any substance.

"We have had some light shed upon that darkness with the insight gained from thorough examination of the report of Prof Harry Kennedy and his opinion that Alan suffered from severe depressive illness,"

"It does not make the pain and loss any easier for us," the BBC quotes.

Globally, depression is increasingly becoming a major cause for concern for a lot of people raising questions about the safety of human lives. The suicide of Linkin Park's lead singer Chester Bennington brought the world's attention to how devastating a declining mental condition can be.

In some African countries like Nigeria, the focus on mental health remains quite low. Just like most things concerning its people, it has received a lot of neglect which is apparent in the lean facilities provided by the government whose primary objective should be to cater for its citizens but this has so far hardly been the case.


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