Thursday 8 December 2016

Convicted wife killer Eamonn Lillis 'will be free within a month with €1.3m in pocket'

Published 01/04/2015 | 07:52

Convicted killer Eamonn Lillis may walk free from prison as early as this month after serving five years for his wife Celine Cawley’s death.

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Eamonn Lillis was found guilty of the manslaughter of Celine Cawley, after gardai arrived to find him standing over his wife’s body on the back patio of their Howth home in 2008.

Lillis claimed his wife was killed by an intruder who fled through the back garden. It was soon established the then 52-year-old Eamonn hit Celine with a brick after they became involved in a struggle.

In evidence, Lillis (now 57) said he knew his wife was bleeding at the time but did not think she was seriously injured. He denied his affair with a local masseuse at the time had anything to do with the fatal argument.

Eamonn Lillis and his wife Celine Cawley (inset), whom he killed in 2008 on the patio of their home in Dublin
Eamonn Lillis and his wife Celine Cawley (inset), whom he killed in 2008 on the patio of their home in Dublin
Eamonn Lillis
The house in Howth where Celine was killed
Eamonn Lillis. Photo Collins
Two of Lillis's watercolour paintings were exhibited in Kilmainham Gaol
‘Browsing’, a work by ‘EL’ – who it is thought could be Eamonn Lillis (left) – at the prison art exhibition. Picture: Arthur Carron
Celine Cawley pictured shortly before her death

Read more: Jean Treacy tried to convince her lover to tell the truth about what happened

Deputy state pathologist Michael Curtis concluded Celine died after sustaining three blows to the head.

Lillis was sentenced to six years in prison, but with good behaviour and remission taken into account, he could now leave Wheatfield Prison, Clondalkin ‘in and around April 15’, a source told the Irish Daily Mail.

It is believed Lillis could be released earlier to avoid a ‘predictable media circus’.

‘Browsing’, a work by ‘EL’ – who it is thought could be Eamonn Lillis (left) – at the prison art exhibition. Picture: Arthur Carron
‘Browsing’, a work by ‘EL’ – who it is thought could be Eamonn Lillis (left) – at the prison art exhibition. Picture: Arthur Carron

The convicted killer can look forward to a €1.3m stash in his bank account, all of which has been netted since his wife’s death. The money includes his share from the sale of their palatial Howth home, €358,505 from the liquidation of his wife’s television production company, €131,500 from the sale of an investment apartment they owned in Sutton and about €22,000 in investment bonds.

Read more: Greedy Lillis wanted it all, leaving daughter just €600

Eamonn and Celine’s daughter Georgia and Celine’s brother and sister have fought and lost a High Court case to prevent him from getting half of the couple’s joint assets since his imprisonment.

It is believed Eamonn Lillis will spend a few days in Ireland after his release before jetting to France or Spain, putting his prison lessons in the European languages to use.

As well as French and Spanish lessons, Lillis also became a fan of yoga in Wheatfield, the Irish Daily Mail reports.

Read more: Lillis affair and his litany of lies were exposed in court

A prison source told the newspaper Lillis works in the prison library and also completed a writing class.

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