A family of five – a husband, wife and their three young sons – were found dead earlier today in their home in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan.
Gardaí (police) were dispatched to the house this morning around 11am, after a family member was unable to gain entry into the home, located in Oakdene, Barconey, Ballyjamesduff.
There they discovered the bodies. They have been named locally as Alan Hawe, in his 40s; the wife, Clodagh, in her 30s; and their three sons, Liam, Neil and Ryan, ages 13, 11 and six.
The deaths are being investigated as a potential murder-suicide.
"The Garda investigation is ongoing but at this stage we are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths," gardai said in a statement.
Three bodies were found upstairs and two were found downstairs. There were no firearms found in the house.
At a press conference held this evening, Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said: “We believe 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 death of others.
“All the circumstances will be explored.”
The family is well known in the area and, according to some reports, were out and about in the community as recently as Sunday, with nothing seeming to be amiss.
O’Driscoll told reporters that “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.”
Alan Hawe was a teacher at a local school, Castlerahan National School, where sons Neil and Ryan were both students.
Principal Anne Foley said in a statement: “At lunch time today we learnt of the tragic deaths the Hawe family. This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by this event. Our sympathy and our thoughts are with the extended family and friends.
The remains of three young boys and their parents about to be removed from the house outside Ballyjamesduff, Cavan pic.twitter.com/S8nAVEXoPk— Sarah O'Connor (@Sarah_UTV) August 29, 2016
“Alan was a valued member of our school staff and community. Niall and Ryan were pupils in our school and Liam was a past pupil. They were wonderful children who will be greatly missed by all who knew them.”
Clodagh Hawe was also a teacher, at Oristown National School. Principal Ann O’Kelly Lynch said the school was “deeply saddened” by the news.
“This is a terrible tragedy for the families, schools and the communities involved,” she said.
“We are deeply saddened by this event. Our sympathies and thoughts are with Clodagh’s family and friends.
“Clodagh was a much loved and valued teacher in our school and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”
Local councillor Paddy Smith told the Irish Independent that the whole area is in “complete shock.”
“I only heard about it and rang a couple of people and everyone is shocked. If there is five people dead, it’s tragic, no matter what,” he said.
“It’s just hard to get your head around the whole thing,” he added.