Even politicians in home town of ex-mistress keeping their counsel
Published 06/02/2010 | 05:00
THERE were two women at the centre of Eamonn Lillis's life.
He was jailed for killing one and the other now wants nothing to do with him.
Former mistress Jean Treacy is struggling to rebuild her life after it was revealed in court she had had an affair with the killer in the eight weeks before his wife was killed violently.
The 32-year-old has appealed for privacy after details of their sexual relationship were revealed.
In Ms Treacy's home town of Nenagh they speak in hushed tones of the former masseuse who became the focus of the nation after she avoided photographers during her appearance at the Central Criminal Court last month.
Everyone in the Tipperary town seems to know the Treacy family, but nobody wants to talk publicly about the trial or Ms Treacy's testimony or her affair with the killer of Celine Cawley.
A dual carriageway is under construction in the area and it seems that all in the town hope that the saga surrounding Ms Treacy also bypasses Nenagh.
"What did she do?" asked one resident near Ms Treacy's home on the outskirts of the town.
"Nothing, she did nothing. She committed no crime and was only a witness in a trial, yet all this fuss has been created from it. All the attention has been put on her. She wasn't charged with any offence, yet that is the way some of the media are portraying it -- her family have been given an awful time," continued the woman.
Even local councillors who normally comment on the most banal of affairs are keeping their counsel on this one. Privately, they all admit they are good friends with Ms Treacy's parents Brendan and Bernadette. Everyone in the town said she came from a highly respected family.
Brendan Treacy was a former employee of North Tipperary County Council where he worked as a clerical officer and revenue collector. Jean is the youngest of three children. Her older sister, Siobhan, is married and lives in Kildare while her brother, David, teaches in a secondary school in Belfast.
She attended secondary school in St Mary's in Nenagh and completed her education at St Joseph's in Borrisoleigh. At Nenagh swimming pool, she worked part-time as a lifeguard.
A former classmate in St Joseph's recalls when Jean attended the Borrisoleigh school.
"The school would have been regarded as having a good Leaving Cert programme and she would have sat the exams in 1997," she said. "People came from far and wide to go to school here -- as did Jean.
"She would have put the head down and got on with her work. She was studious and I suppose most teachers would remember her as a good student. She made friends easily. Back then, we would have all gone socialising at the nearby Rag nightclub -- that was where everyone from Borrisoleigh went."