Monday 23 October 2017

Just another ordinary customer buying his morning newspaper

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A WHITE paper sign hung from the ceiling of the small corner shop wishing customers a Happy Christmas.

In the small queue of schoolchildren who were buying sweets before school, there was nothing remarkable about Eamonn Lillis.

He simply entered the shop, picked up his newspaper, paid for it in exact change and left rather quickly. A customer like any other on that typical Monday morning.

That was all we saw on the CCTV footage of Summit Stores in Howth, recorded on the morning Celine Cawley was found dead on the patio outside her home, on December 15, 2008.

It was 8.35am and Mr Lillis had just dropped his daughter off at school.

Just over an hour and a half later, Mr Lillis would make a frantic call to the emergency services telling them his wife had been attacked by a masked burglar, who had then also hit him.


The footage, which was in colour, was unusually clear and so Det Sgt John Finan of the Computer Crime Investigation Unit was able to call the jury's attention to the clothes worn by the man identified as Mr Lillis.

A dark sweater, dark runners with a white strip along the sole and a pair of what appeared to be jeans or chinos. Det Sgt Finan concluded from another CCTV still shot that they were, in fact, jeans.

In court 19 of the new Courts of Criminal Justice complex in Dublin, there was an unusually large attendance of members of the public yesterday. Many of them craned forward eagerly to see the CCTV recording.

Only one person in the courtroom appeared to have minimal interest in the footage.

Mr Lillis never looked at the screen and, instead, was writing busily, his head bowed over his work.

Irish Independent

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