Sunday 19 January 2020

Swapping one unusual daily routine for another -- behind bars


HOW quickly the unusual can be become almost normal.

By Monday of this week, Eamonn Lillis would have been surprised had a group of photographers not greeted him when he jumped from his Mercedes jeep and made his morning visit to his local garda station.

They were already as much a part of his new morning routine as going to the Summit Stores shop in Howth to pick up the newspapers.

He was in that shop about an hour before he killed his wife in December of last year. And he was back there on a number of mornings this week, but now he was making the headlines rather than simply reading them.

Sticking to a routine -- no matter how strange some of its aspects -- was obviously important to the 52-year-old, and was an understandable coping mechanism as he counted down the days to his sentencing in court today.

A routine would also explain the uniform of a black coat, blue jeans and boots that he was photographed in each day as he signed on at Howth garda station between 9am and noon, and later each evening.

But wearing that same uniform each day at the same venue didn't do anything to dilute the interest in getting new pictures of him.

But Lillis had more pressing concerns than his clothes.

Granted five days to get his personal affairs in order after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Celine Cawley, Lillis had a lot to do and relatively little time in which to do it. Putting in place care arrangements for his daughter and organising his finances would have been top priority.

This was his life for the last five days. Now he faces into a new normality.

Irish Independent

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