THE board of Listowel Writers Week has said they were completely unaware that convicted wife killer Eamon Lillis had penned an award winning short story at this year's upcoming festival, as all competition entries are submitted anonymously.
As it emerged this week that Lillis was awarded a top prize at Ireland's leading literary competition, Writers Week spokesperson Maire Logue said that the committee has been working with the Prison Education Service for over 20 years and has never been aware of the identity of the entrants.
While declining to comment on Mr Lillis' case individually, Ms Logue said that adjudicators have always judged entries on their merit.
"We have had a relationship with the Prison Education Service for 20 years, and offer a competition for prisoners all over Ireland as well as Irish prisoners abroad," she said. "The competition coincides with the courses given in prison, and we accept short stories, essays and poems. All entries are received anonymously and sent to the adjudicators who then return the winners to the Prison Education Service."