Her name was Clodagh

The tragic events that has been publicised over the past week about the Cavan murder of Clodagh Hawe (nee Coll) and her sons by her husband, who subsequently committed suicide, have again rocked the country, and have highlighted an interesting point.

Very few publications mentioned Clodagh Hawe’s name anywhere, referring to her as the ‘murderer’s wife’, or some other anonymous varient.  The most widely used photograph shows Alan Hawe standing with his three sons, and not a photograph of Clodagh Hawe in sight.

A social media campaign using the tag #hernamewasClodagh has been circulating around,since the tragic murders, highlighting the fact that we all may have been so immune to wives and partners being murdered by their husbands that we perhaps feel it’s no longer necessary to name the victim; only when children are also victims are their names and images spread around the news.

The charity Women’s Aid posted a bleak article on the number of deaths of wives and children since they began record-taking in 1996:

“Since Women’s Aid started to keep record in 1996, 1 in every 2 female homicide victims in Ireland has been murdered by a current or former intimate partner.*

“This means that 87 women have had their lives stolen by those who were closest to them – their boyfriends, husbands and partners or those they had ended relationships with. 14 children were also murdered alongside their mothers.

“Today we remember stolen lives – the 87 women and 14 children and their families and friends left to mourn them.”

The list of 87 women and 14 children are set out below, and you can read the full article here.

Sandra Tobin, March 1996, Age 35
Noeleen Cawley, April 1996, Age 39
Martina Halligan, May 1996, Age 33
Angela Collins, May 1996, Age 49
Patricia Murphy, May 1996, Age 36
Maura McKinney, August 1996, Age 58
Janet Mooney, September 1996, Age 29
Bernie Sherry, April 1997, Age 44
Kitty Gubbins, May 1997, Age 70
Elizabeth Troy, July 1997, Age 60
Sheila McDonagh, September 1997, Age 26
Mary Kelehan, December 1997, Age 49
Mandy Smyth, January 1998, Age 26
Chantal Bergeron, August 1998, Age 42
Catherine Hegarty, February 1999, Age 33
Marie Hennessy, May 1999, Age 36
Bente Carroll, May 1999, Age 45
Catherine Mullins, October 1999, Age 43
Maeve Byrne, September 2000, Age 37 and her sons Alan aged 10 and Shane aged 6.
Jean Reilly, December, 2000, Age 34
Jennifer Wilkinson, December 2000, Age 24
Susan Prakash, December 2000, Age 28
Mary Whelan, March 2001, Age 27
Debbie Fox, July 2001, Age 30 and her sons Trevor aged 9 and Cillian aged 7
Geraldine Kissane, October 2001, Age 23
Linda Dunne, September 2001, Age 24
Lorraine O’Connor, October 2001, Age 19
Joan Power, March 2002, Age 43
Rosie Collinson, March 2002, Age 50
Niamh Murphy, May 2002, Age 20
Carmel Coyne, August 2002, Age 42
Jean Scanlon, January 2003, Age 33
Cliona Manger, February 2003, Age 20
Natasha Gray, February 2003, Age 25
Georgina Eager, May 2003, Age 29
Xiang Yi Wang, July 2003, Age 21
Ann Flynn, August 2003, Age 50
Dolores McCrea, January 2004, Age 35
Janet Chaney, April 2004, Age 47
Rachel O’Reilly, October 2004, Age 31
Colleen Mulder, December 2004, Age 41
Celia Bailey, March 2005, Age 54
Mary Hannon, April 2005, Age 59
Catherine McEnery, July 2005, Age 35
Ann Walsh, August 2005, Age 23
Rosemary Dowling, October 2005, Age 49
Siobhan Kearney, February 2006, Age 37
Karen Guinee, June 2006, Age 23
Sheola Keaney, July 2006, Age 19
Rose Patterson, April 2007, Age 30
Ciara Dunne, April 2007, Age 23 and her daughters Shania aged 5 and Leanne aged 2.
Sara Nelligan, June 2007, Age 31
Jean Gilbert, August 2007, Age 46
Amanda Jenkins, October 2007, Age 27
Joanne Mangan, October 2007, Age 20
Marion O’Leary, October 2007, Age 53
Ciara Ni Chathmhaoil, November 2007, Age 22
Lorraine Flood, April 2008, Age 38 and her son Mark aged 6 and daughter Julie aged 5
Kezia Gomez Rosa, August 2008, Age 26
Carmel Breen, November 2008, Age 57
Noeleen Brennan, November 2008, Age 38
Celine Cawley, December 2008, Age 46
Rebecca Hoban, December 2008,Age 28
Joan Vickers, April 2009, Age 43
Lisa Doyle, September 2009, Age 24
Joselita Da Silva, October 2009, Age 33
Loredana Pricajan, January 2010, Age 36
Breda Cummins, May 2010, Age 31
Helen Donegan, May 2010, Age 30
Sarah Hines, November 2010, Age 25 and her son Reece aged 3, her daughter Amy aged 5 months. Sarah’s friend Alicia Bough was also murdered.
Katarzyna Barowiak, March 2011, Age 25
Diane Burroughs, April 2011, Age 30
Rudo Mawere, January 2012, Age 26
Sarah Regan, February 2012, Age 30
Mary Ryan, May 2012, Age 37
Jacqueline McDonagh, August 2012, Age 34.
Aoife Phelan, October 2012, Age 30
Olivia Dunlea O’Brien, February 2013, Age 36
Deirdre Keenan, February 2013, Age 51
Elaine O’Hara (36) – remains found 13th September 2013, reported missing 22nd August 2012
Jolanta Lubiene, June 2013, Age 27 and her daughter Enrika, Aged 8.
Patricia Kierans, June 2013, Age 54.
Sara Staunton, December 2013, Age 28
Angelique Belling, December 2014, Age 27.
Valerie Greaney, December 2014, Age 49.
Marie Quigley, July 2015, Age 68.
Clodagh Hawe, and her children Liam (13), Niall (11) and Ryan (6), August 2016.



12 + 9 =

LIFE STORIES: The Special Needs of Education from a female teacher’s perspective

The Special Needs of Education from a female teacher’s perspective

Sitting in Careers class in an all girls’ school some 15 years ago now, you would hear the usual career choices being bandied about….law, nursing, teaching, the occasional scientist, geologist and one dedicated airline pilot in the mix of 16 year old determined young women… I must admit there were three careers that had always rested at the forefront of my mind as I was growing up…

  1. Solicitor
  2. Teacher
  3. Paediatric nurse

A spectrum of career choices you might say, but one common theme runs through each of these career options… each were centred upon the provision of help to others. By a process of elimination I ruled out becoming a solicitor (highly competitive entrance requirements, and limited opportunity for employment at the end of your three year undergraduate programme at the time I was filling out my applications). So, I was down to two choices. Paediatric nursing – I always had a love for children (I still do) but the thought of seeing a child sick or helpless was going to be something too difficult for me to overcome, so therefore, one path remained, the vocation of teaching.

One thing I have learned in life (not to make this piece about life lessons but a relevant statement nonetheless) is for opportunities to happen, you must create them. A pessimistic careers teacher told me there was such demand for places on a teacher training course, with limited possibility of employment afterwards that I should perhaps reconsider my options. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but an opportunity to tackle and achieve. I sent away my UCAS (CAO form) with fingers crossed and luckily got accepted to attend interview at my college of choice. The usual questions came up at interview? Why teaching?  How would you challenge inappropriate behaviour? If you could adapt the current curriculum what changes would you make? My answers to those questions still resonate in my head today.

Why teaching? –  As sugar-coated as it may sound, to inspire, to lead and to innovate. I would lead students to develop skills to prepare them for the global market, not just rote learning of facts and figures, but coping mechanisms, inter-personal skills, mindfulness of others and indeed themselves. I would inspire them to pursue each and every ambition no matter how inconceivable it may seem.

After four years of hard work I was ready to head out into the working world and was able to secure a maternity post for the coming year. I continued with temporary contracts for the next three years, but longer term prospects seemed further and further out of reach (perhaps the predictions of that careers teacher weren’t so misguided after all.) What to do next? I would have to upskill in some way, so the most logical next step for me was to broaden my pedagogical skill set.

My final mainstream teaching setting was in a classroom of 30 students with a young girl who was at pre-diagnosis stage of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her areas of challenge silenced her voice, masked her expressionism, her ability to articulate her thoughts and feelings. My job was to enable her to have a voice, to be a catalyst to allow her to achieve.

I always held the belief that if a child is not learning, we should look to the teaching style not to the child, and change the way we approach our teaching. I didn’t possess the requisite skills to assist this young person, therefore it was time for me to return to college to complete a Masters in ASD. I resigned myself to the fact that substitute work was the best I could aim for while completing my Masters degree. However a chance phone-call from a special school in Dublin set me towards the path I am on today. I was being offered a year long post to set up an autism unit, a mammoth task but one I wanted to tackle head on.

One thing I have learned throughout my career is that adaptability is key. And when offered a principalship of a special needs school after three years teaching in that environment, this mantra became all the more evident.

A once male dominated rung on the ladder, principalship brought many new challenges, but at the same time brought great experience and tools to foster and develop into my own managerial style. I have come to realise that I thrive on challenge and look forward to whatever new adventure comes along.

– C.R.  2016