Flanagan open to submission from family of Clodagh Hawe

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has asked the family of Clodagh Hawe to provide a submission to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to open an inquiry.

A 2017 inquest found that Alan Hawe took his own life after the unlawful merders of his wife and their three kids, Liam (14), Niall (11) and Ryan (6).

Mary Coll, Clodagh’s mother, and her sister Jaqueline Connolly appeared on Claire Byrne Live last night on RTÉ 1 after their legal request to access copies of Garda files on the case was officially refused.

Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin today asked the Taoiseach if a second inquiry into the case will be commissioned, to which Varadkar replied that laws had already been passed, including the Domestic Violence Act in 2018.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald went on to ask the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan if he would be willing to meet with the family.

MacDonald questioned Varadkar on the specialist Gardaí reviews that take place when a murder has happened in a domestic setting, noting that the UK, and soon Northern Ireland, prefer to adopt a multi-agency approach.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland released a press statement where they support the family of Clodagh Hawe in their attempts to have their questions answered.

The NWCI called on Flanagan and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to “complete and publish the findings of the ten-year domestic homicide review, promised to NWCI and Women’s Aid after the death of Clodagh Hawe.”

As well as this they join MacDonald in support of multi-agency reviews for homicides in Ireland in a domestic environment, saying they would provide families with answers.

Another benefit of multi-agency reviews, according to the NWCI, “improve risk assessment and management and to identify gaps in policy and practice, following such crimes” as well as providing women protection in the future.

By Ian Brennan

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