Lillis gives up estate rights
But wife killer in line for €2m nest egg on release
Published 02/03/2010 | 05:00
CONVICTED killer Eamonn Lillis has handed over the administration of his late wife's estate to her brother and sister.
But he is still expected to have a nest egg worth in the region of €2m when he gets out of jail, as he was joint owner of the couple's three homes.
Lillis (52), who is serving six years and 11 months for the manslaughter of Celine Cawley, agreed to step aside as administrator of dispersal of her possessions and assets, the High Court heard yesterday.
Under the 1965 Succession Act, he cannot inherit Ms Cawley's estate because he killed her. However, he will be entitled to keep his share of everything the couple owned together.
At a brief hearing yesterday, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill made an order appointing Ms Cawley's brother Chris Cawley and sister Susanna Cawley as administrators of the estate.
He had earlier been informed that Lillis had consented to being removed from the role of administrator. It was not disclosed at the hearing whether Ms Cawley had left a will.
The couple owned three houses together: the family home in Howth, north Co Dublin; a house in nearby Sutton and a holiday home in Hossegor in the south of France.
Lillis has already benefited to the tune of more than €350,000 from the voluntary winding-up of the couple's television advertising company, Toytown Films.
As well as the properties, he will also be entitled to half of the whatever cash is held in the couple's joint bank accounts.
The sums held in these accounts were not revealed during the murder trial. However, it is thought they could be sizeable -- Ms Cawley had a €500,000-a-year salary from Toytown Films, while Lillis was earning €100,000.
The couple had one child, a daughter who is now aged 17.
Earlier this year, a jury of six men and six women found Lillis not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Following a 16-day-trial, the jury found that the State had failed to prove the television advertising producer intended to murder Ms Cawley on December 15, 2008, at their home on Windgate Road, Howth.
Lillis had initially claimed to gardai that he had disturbed an intruder who had attacked his wife. He later admitted to his daughter and a woman with whom he had been having an affair that he had been involved in a row with Ms Cawley.
Mr Justice Barry White later criticised him as "self-serving" and said his expression of remorse "rang hollow".