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Bodies of five members of same family found at home in Ireland following ‘murder-suicide’

 'This has come as a complete and utter shock to everybody in the area who knew the family' 

Alexandra Sims
Monday 29 August 2016 20:04 BST
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A Garda technical officer lifts tape as a hearse leaves the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home
A Garda technical officer lifts tape as a hearse leaves the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home (PA)

A family of five have been found dead in their countryside home in the Irish midlands.

The bodies of primary school deputy principle Alan Hawe, aged in his 40s, his wife Clodagh, a school teacher in her 30s, and their three sons were discovered at the house near Ballyjamesduff, in Co Cavan on Monday morning.

Investigators said they believe the family are victims of a murder-suicide and they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

It is understood the husband and wife were found downstairs at Oakdene Down in Barconey, while the boys – Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and Ryan, six – were upstairs in their bedrooms.

"We believe all the answers are within that house - so therefore the most likely scenario is that one person in that house may have caused the death of the others," Garda assistant commissioner John O’Driscoll said.

"All the circumstances will be explored but as it stands at the moment that is the position."

Hearses leaves the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home (PA)

Investigating gardai have found no evidence a firearm was used.

A technical examination is being carried out at the property – which has been sealed off as a crime scene – and follow up post mortem examinations are expected to give a more definitive answer as to the cause of death.

A number of objects in the house are also being subjected to “detailed technical examination”.

The alarm was raised at around 10:45am on Monday after someone, thought to be a relative, called to the house but got no answer.

Two officers dispatched to the scene from Monaghan Garda station gained entry to the house and found the bodies.

Mr Hawe, belived to be from Co Kilkenny, was the deputy principle at the nearby Castlerahan National School.

Niall and Ryan were both pupils at the school. The eldest boy, Liam, was a past pupill.

Mrs Hawe, from Co Cavan, taught at Oristown National School in Co Meath.

Investigators are continuing to talk to neighbours and the extended family of the victims to establish what happened.

The family were well known in the area and had been out in the community on Sunday and gave no indication anything was wrong.

A hearse leaves the scene at Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, where a family of five were found dead in their countryside home (PA)

"Nothing had happened prior to this grim discovery this morning that gave rise to anyone - including An Garda Siochana - having any suspicion that anything was untoward and this family were engaged with the community and seen yesterday," said Mr O'Driscoll.

Paddy Smith, a local councillor, said: "This has come as complete and utter shock to everybody in the area and everybody who knew the family because they were a very steady, hard working family," he said.

"It is a complete shock, out of the dark, people are just unable to grasp or comprehend what has happened."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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