Tuesday 26 September 2017

He rubbed salt into our raw wounds, says grieving family

TWO sides of one coin, two faces of a killer.

Yesterday, two friends of Eamonn Lillis took to the stand to tell the sentencing judge why they were standing by their friend and why they believed him to be a compassionate man. A "gentleman", they said.

But sitting just yards from them was Celine Cawley's family. They had been robbed of a sister, a daughter, an aunt and a friend. To them Lillis was no longer a friend but the man who had taken the life of a woman they truly loved. And it was his lies that had rubbed salt into their already raw wounds.

The case for:

"He is the last person in the world I felt would ever be here today." -- Gerry Kennedy, friend and character witness for Lillis

"I have never known Eamonn Lillis to be confrontational." -- Siobhan Cassidy, friend and character witness for Lillis

"During that time (34 years of friendship) I found him to be a mild-mannered man, very courteous. And that opinion never changed." -- Siobhan Cassidy

"He is extremely sorry and regretful for what happened that fateful day and for his subsequent behaviour and lies . . . especially to Celine's family who took him in afterwards." -- Brendan Grehan defending

The case against:

"The treacherous lies are overwhelming, but the worst lie had to be the one told by Eamonn over the intruder. . . Whatever about the rest of us, dad deserves to know the truth." -- Victim impact statement read out by Celine's sister, Susanna Cawley

"The lack of remorse is also hard to credit. . . no such apology was forthcoming." -- Susanna Cawley

"My good-humoured, roguish, fun, compassionate and caring sister is entirely deleted from my mind. In her place, a battered, head-shaven body with 18 facial injuries, slipping in blood as she fights for her life on the patio of the house of her dreams." -- Susanna Cawley

Irish Independent

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