Thursday 30 March 2017

€2m nest egg in cash and assets awaits Celine's killer on release

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

As well as the properties, he will be entitled to half the cash held jointly

Eamonn Lillis will have a €2m nest egg waiting for him when he eventually walks free from prison.

Lillis is due for release in early 2015 -- provided he receives full remission for good behaviour.

And when he does, he will have a sizeable fortune waiting for him in the form of property assets, rental income and the spoils from the company he ran with his slain wife Celine Cawley.

Lillis (52) and Ms Cawley co-owned a holiday home in the south of France.

It is a property that could supply significant rental income in the coming years.

The four-bedroom residence is located just 400 metres from the beach in the surfing paradise of Hossegor, near Biarritz.

Similar-sized homes in the area fetch between €1,800 and €4,000 a week in rental fees at high season.

The French resort tends to be busiest during July and August. A major surfing event in late September each year also draws large crowds.

Demand for holiday homes, and consequently rental income, is much lower at other times of the year.

The gated residence, on tree-lined Avenue Grande Dune, was bought by the couple in 2005 for around €400,000. It has a pool at the rear and a garage.

The property is now mortgage-free, as are the two other homes the couple jointly owned.

Holiday

Ms Cawley had an attachment to that part of France as she used to holiday there with cousins as a child.

Lillis is already set to benefit to the tune of over €350,000 from the winding-up of the couple's successful television advertising company Toytown Films.

He had a half-share in the company and put it into voluntary liquidation shortly after Ms Cawley was killed. The other half, which had been owned by Ms Cawley, passed to her sister Susanna after her death.

There is set to be a surplus of over €700,000 when the liquidation is fully completed, with Lillis entitled to half of the cash.

Lillis also owned half of the couple's €1.5m home on Windgate Road in Howth, Co Dublin, and another home, thought to be worth around €500,000, in nearby Sutton.

Under the 1965 Succession Act, the 52-year-old cannot inherit Ms Cawley's estate because he killed her.

But he will be entitled to keep his share of everything the couple owned together.

As well as the properties, he will also be entitled to half of whatever cash is held in the couple's joint bank accounts.

The sums held in these accounts were not revealed during the trial. However, they could be sizeable, given that at one stage Ms Cawley was taking a €500,000-a-year salary from Toytown Films, while Lillis was earning €100,000.

It is not yet clear whether Ms Cawley had a will. To date, no will has been lodged with the probate office.

Irish Independent

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