Title: He Had His Reasons
- Protagonist: Alan Hawe
Alan Hawe was the protagonist or key individual featured in the article after his murder-suicide that happened in 2016 that resulted in a tragic family tragedy. His case was featured in the narrative as an example to highlight the social issues centred around mental illness as well as the plausibility of domestic abuse in the country.
- Protagonist’s wife: Clodagh
Clodagh Hawe, Alan’s wife, was murdered with a knife through her throat. She was vital in the article considering her name was not mentioned in the media post-killing and was simply subsumed within the story of her husband’s mental illness and suicide. A hashtag, #HerNameWasClodagh, was after that created and trended on the Irish Twitter to address such prejudices.
- Protagonist’s son 1: Liam
- Protagonist’s son 2: Niall
- Protagonist’s son 3: Ryan
- Unnamed neighbour who was interviewed in the Daily Mirror
- Unnamed friends
- Church (? Since they are a church-going family)
- Local national school (? Since Alan Hawe was the vice-president)
- GAA (Alan’s affliations)
- Teenage handball team (Alan’s affliations)
- Gardai (police force of Ireland)
- Irish Mirror commenter (opinion piece featuring the case as a study to reduce social stigma on mental illness)
- Dr Jacquelyn Campbell of John Hopkins University (who wrote his opinion on domestic abuse)
- Sally Rooney (writer on Irish Independent about suicide in Ireland post the murder-suicide case)
- Professor Ella Arensman, Director of Research at the National Suicide Research Foundation (who requested for an investigation after 24 other incidents had been happening since 2004)
Please refer to the network chart here: https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=1z1gjq65UwsnrvrvbZxb8XUySjmNAE7CEZ0oAfiEq
Question: What, if anything, does this network graph illuminate about the characters’ connections?
It is able to clearly show the relationships of other parties in relations to the protagonists when I organize them based on ‘roles’ or ‘affiliated to’ with the characters. I segregate them based on three key groups: 1. the protagonist and the victims themselves, 2. public groups who are investigating, including various sources from the media who are covering the issue based on different angles and 3. the affiliations to the protagonists which contributed to the prejudices on the issues. Based on this categorization, the network graph was able to illuminate the key issues each party is associated with.
Question: What are its limitations?
There are overlapping nodes in different categories which was not illustrated in the graph. For example, the issues that was associated with Alan Hawe was not only about him committing a murder-suicide crime. However, it was with such controversy that sparked discussion for issues concerning prejudices with class, gender, social stigma that comes with mental illness, domestic abuse, marginalization of victims and so on. These issues were also covered and commented by different media groups and/or organizations which I simply categorized them under “media”. It would be better if the connections between the nodes could be further divided and elaborated to show the different stances on the issues – if they are sympathizing with Alan Hawe or not based on different reasons covered. Currently, the prejudices were mentioned without any depth. I also felt that the links showed currently are simply too direct, but what about those sub-characters who also played a part in influencing readers’ perspective in the narrative?