The inquest into the deaths of a family in Co Cavan has heard that Alan Hawe, who murdered his wife and three sons before taking his own life, had been suffering from a severe mental illness.

Professor Harry Kennedy, who carried out a report for the coroner based on Mr Hawes' medical records and suicide note, said he had progressed from a long standing depressive illness to a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms.

Clodagh Hawe and her sons, Liam, 13, Niall, 11 and six-year-old Ryan were found dead on 29 August last year.

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Yesterday, the inquest heard evidence from Mrs Hawe's mother, Mary Coll, who found a note on the door of their home near Ballyjamesduff, asking for gardaí to be called.

Mrs Hawe was discovered lying face down on the sofa in the sitting room, while the boys were found in their beds.

Mr Hawe's body was found in the hallway of the house.

As well as the white envelope taped to the inside window of the back door, a number of notes were found by gardaí, all of which were written by Mr Hawe. 

The jury this afternoon returned verdicts of unlawful killing in the cases of Mrs Hawe and her three sons, who were all killed by Mr Hawe.

In the case of Mr Hawe the jury returned a verdict of suicide.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Liam Keane, the solicitor who represented Ms Coll, said that she and her family are glad that the "ordeal of the inquest is over."


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