Saturday 10 December 2016

The weekend Celine told her mentor: 'I've met the man I'm going to marry'

The friend who introduced Eamonn Lillis to his future wife tells Maeve Sheehan of the impressive woman who was like a daughter to him

Published 31/01/2010 | 05:00

WHEN Celine Cawley met Eamonn Lillis she knew he was the man she would marry. She told her friend and mentor Gerry Poulson so, not long after meeting her future husband.

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It was 1990, and the weekend of the advertising awards, a boozy industry festival in Kinsale, Co Cork. Celine was 28 and on the cusp of a career as a producer at GPA Films, and Poulson, a renowned television and commercials director, owned the company. In fact it was he who had given her a break in the industry, promoting her from receptionist to producer on the strength of her skills. And it was also Poulson who introduced Celine to Lillis at Acton's Hotel, the festival's hub.

He already knew Lillis as a charming and mild-mannered freelance art director, then aged 34. Every year, Poulson organised a soccer match as an aside to the weekend's festivities. That year, Ireland was still basking in the heady aftermath of Italia '90 and the match was billed as 'Ireland versus the Rest of the World'.

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