Teacher Alan Hawe with his sons Liam, Niall and Ryan. The three boys were found dead in the bedrooms and their father in a downstairs room following a suspected murder suicide
The three boys who died in a suspected murder suicide in Ireland all appear to have been killed in their bedrooms.
Gardaí discovered their bodies when they were called to their home in Co Cavan yesterday morning. Their parents were found in downstairs rooms.
The family was named locally as school teacher Alan Hawe, wife Clodagh and sons Liam, 13, Niall, 11, and six-year-old Ryan.
Two officers arrived at the scene at the Oakdene estate, Barconey where the Hawe family lived, and soon after the grim discovery was made, a full investigation was launched.
It is believed the deaths may have occurred late on Sunday evening into the early hours of yesterday morning.
According to the Sun, it is believed police in Ireland are probing the theory that Mr Hawe stabbed his wife to death first before he then killed this three sons.
The teacher, who is well-known in the local community, is then thought to have turned the knife on himself.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis arrived at the house, which remains sealed-off for technical examination.
'We believe all the answers are within that house,' Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll told a press briefing outside Ballyjamesduff Garda Station yesterday. He said that murder suicide was the 'most likely scenario'.
Gardai said at this stage they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths.
Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll stated that while there was no evidence of a firearm being used, 'a number of objects found in the house' remain the subject to an ongoing detailed technical examination of the scene.
He said: 'Until that examination in complete we are not in a position to say the precise cause of death.
'Over the coming days more information will be revealed.'
In seeking a motive for the apparent killings, Mr O'Driscoll noted that Gardai are waiting to speak with relevant persons, including family members.
He said that members of the family had been last seen alive on Sunday, and nothing at that stage had raised concern suggest that such an occurrence may take place.
Married for 15 years, both the Mr Hawe, originally from Kilkenny, and his wife Clodagh, from nearby Mountnugent, Co Cavan, had lived in the area for about 12 years.
Mr Hawe was deputy principal at the nearby Castlerahan National School where at least one of his two younger sons were pupils.
Mrs Hawe, whose parents are from Virginia, Co Cavan, is believed to have taught in a school in Co Meath.
The husband was heavily involved in community sports, and had been involved in helping establish at least one local hurling team.
Oldest son Liam was a keen badminton player, and had been playing a friend of his in the village of Mullagh, about 15 miles from his parents' house.
One of the last times Mr Hawe was seen alive was on Sunday at around 1pm when he was one of the stewards on the gate of the Castlerahan versus Kingscourt league football match.
It was held near the church of St Mary's the Hawes attended regularly and where he used to read lessons and his son was the only boy in the choir.
Yesterday evening the INTO issued a statement on behalf of Castlerahan National School.
Principal Anne Foley said they had learned of the tragic deaths around lunchtime on Monday.
'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,' she said.
'They were wonderful children who will be greatly missed by all who knew them.
'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.'
Farmer Brendan McCabe, who lived near the Hawes, said last night: 'There was nothing out of the ordinary.
'He was seen at the game, his son played a game of badminton and I myself last saw him in his car coming out of the estate where he lived. As usual, he waved.
'There were people in the car with him and he was his usual friendly self.'
He added: 'Everybody is in total shock and just cannot believe what has happened.
'Never in a million years would anybody have expected this to have happened.'
He said that he understood Mr Hawe had been due to attend a school meeting at his school at around 11am.
But when there was no sign of him, someone at the school rang his house.
When they couldn't get a reply, a relative went to the house and made the appalling discovery that has devastated the area.
'There were very few people who didn't know or like the family,' Mr McCabe added.
'He was a fierce family man and heavily involved in sport.
'He very much at the fabric of our local community and he was well regarded.'
Fine Gael area Councillor, Paddy Smith said the couple were 'good and decent' people, and that news of the deaths had come as a 'hammer-blow' to the local community.
He said: 'Alan's eldest son played Gaelic football with Castlerahan GAA club.
'They were good lads at school. The family were actively involved in the local community. Alan was involved in the community development association which built a new pitch in Castlerahan GAA Club.
'There is a lot of shock and people are completely devastated.'
A close neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: 'Alan was a very gentle man and a very gentle person. This is the last we would have expected.
'We've been away for a while but the last saw him and his family was in June at an 80th birthday party in the local village hall in Castlerahan.
'He was in great form, as were Clodagh and the boys.' Alan was a great man for the hurling.
I think he used to play.I don't know how high he played, but he certainly played.
'To say we are shocked doesn't describe it. It is hard to know how to feel. It's like a nightmare. It's incredible.
Everyone in the area would be close to them. He was a great neighbour.
And they were keen churchgoers. He read in the church and Liam was the only boy in the choir.'
Killed in their bedrooms: Three young boys are stabbed to death by their father after he kills their mother before turning the knife on himself NEIL MICHAEL SEAN DUNNE