Tuesday 24 October 2017

Face of Eamonn Lillis's secret lover revealed

Grainne Cunningham

THIS is the face of Jean Treacy, the former lover of Eamonn Lillis who is standing trial charged with the murder of his wife Celine Cawley.

Gardai took the unprecedented step of shielding the 32-year-old beauty therapist from public scrutiny as she made her way into court to give evidence about her 10-week affair with the 52-year-old advertising executive at his trial last Wednesday.

But Ms Treacy's photograph was on the front page of several Sunday newspapers.

The young woman, who is originally from Co Tipperary, is understood to be living with a relative in order to escape the glare of publicity that has been sparked by her testimony and the arrangements made by gardai at the Central Criminal Court.

At the time she became involved with Mr Lillis, she was engaged to her boyfriend Keith. The couple are still understood to be together.


Meanwhile, Mr Lillis will be back in the witness box today for cross-examination by the prosecution.

Ms Treacy attended secondary school at St Mary's Convent in Nenagh before spending two years doing her Leaving Certificate at St Joseph's College, a co-ed school in nearby Borrisoleigh, finishing in 1996.

After leaving school, Ms Treacy worked as a lifeguard at Nenagh leisure centre and then in the marketing industry, possibly spending some time in Britain.

She then took night courses in beauty therapy at the Galligan School of Beauty before starting at Howth Haven Beauty Salon in August 2006.

It was there that she would meet her future lover.

Her parents are Bernadette and Brendan, a highly respected author, historian and musician, and she has a sister Siobhan and a brother David. Locals described the Treacys as a very decent, well-respected family.

Her father worked as a revenue collector in North Tipperary County Council for 42 years before retiring in 2004 and also has 45 years' service with the Civil Defence.

He plays the saxophone and has raised money for various charities through his musical performances.

Mr Treacy is a collector of old photographs and has a keen interest in local history and photography. He has published five books.

In her evidence, Ms Treacy told the court that she had initially believed she was in love with married father-of-one Mr Lillis, but now realised it was infatuation.

She had been Mr Lillis's masseuse for two years before a relationship developed. The pair were first introduced by Ms Cawley, who was also a client of Ms Treacy.

She ended the affair the day after Ms Cawley died outside her Howth home on December 15, 2008. Mr Lillis has denied murdering his wife.

Ms Treacy said she agreed to meet Mr Lillis for "closure" and they met three times in all after Ms Cawley's death.

On one occasion, St Patrick's Day last year, he described the fight he and his wife had on the day of her death.

Last May, she severed all contact with her former lover after he sent her a three-page letter and a Tiffany diamond pendant necklace.

The package was wrapped in paper with the words of pop star Beyonce's song 'Halo' on it. She took the package straight to the gardai.

Irish Independent

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