Friday 24 November 2017

Lillis's daughter allowed to join fight for assets

James and Christopher Cawley, father and brother of Celine Cawley, leaving the High Court yesterday
James and Christopher Cawley, father and brother of Celine Cawley, leaving the High Court yesterday
Celine Cawley
Georgia Lillis
Eamonn Lillis. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

THE daughter of convicted killer Eamonn Lillis is to be allowed take part in a legal action brought by the family of his late wife, Celine Cawley, over assets they jointly owned, the High Court has ruled.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy made an order joining Georgia Lillis, who turned 18 last November, as a plaintiff to the action against Lillis who is serving a prison sentence for the manslaughter of his wife in December 2008.

The judge ruled it was "appropriate" that Ms Lillis be joined in the action as she was the person most affected by the outcome of the proceedings.

Ms Cawley's sister, Susanna, and brother Christopher, who are joint administrators of the estate, are seeking court orders to prevent Lillis securing any interest in certain properties that were jointly owned by the couple and that the properties should transfer to Ms Lillis.

Properties

The properties are believed to include the family home in Howth, an apartment in Sutton, Dublin, and a holiday home in France.

The court was told Ms Lillis, the couple's only child, was "most anxious" and "unequivocally wanted" to be joined to the action, in order to reply to certain claims made in affidavit's by her father about the assets, including the family home.

It is understood that Georgia Lillis wants to refute claims made by her father including that the two had agreed he could move back into the family home after he has completed his prison sentence.

Ms Lillis's position is that no such agreement was ever made.

Lawyers representing Lillis opposed the application to join Ms Lillis as a plaintiff, on grounds including that it was not necessary and would not help the court determine the legal issues that arise in the proceedings.

The judge said that she was satisfied that Ms Lillis should be made a party to the proceedings, given how the final outcome would affect her.

The judge also adjourned the matter to next month, but said that the action would not be heard until the next legal term began in October. Lillis (53) is serving a sentence of six years and 11 months at Wheatfield Prison for the manslaughter of his wife who he killed with a brick at their Howth home in December 2008.

In her will, Ms Cawley left a legacy of more than €1m to be inherited by their daughter. Lillis is entitled to €353,508 following the liquidation of the TV production firm, Toytown Films Ltd, founded by Ms Cawley.

Toytown was placed in voluntary liquidation three months after her death and had a balance of €707,016 when creditors were paid off. As a joint shareholder, Lillis was entitled to half that sum with the remainder going to her estate.

Lillis is legally prevented from inheriting any of his wife's assets because he was convicted of killing her, but he says he is entitled to half of the properties jointly owned by the couple.

Irish Independent

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