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Sunday 19 November 2017

Killer Lillis entitled to share of dead wife’s assets

Eamonn Lillis. Photo: Collins
Eamonn Lillis. Photo: Collins

CONVICTED killer Eamon Lillis is entitled to his share of the assets he owned with his dead wife Celine Cawley, the High Court ruled today.

His daughter Georgia Lillis - as well as Celine Cawley's brother and sister , Susanna and Christopher, as joint administrators of her estate - had taken legal proceedings to decide would happen to the assets Mr Lillis and his wife had owned jointly.

They had argued that Mr. Lillis should not be entitled to his share of the assets, as he had killed his wife. Instead, they argued, that the assets should go, in full, to Georgia.

The assets at issue in these proceedings were the former family home at Rowan Hill , Howth, a house at Tramway Court in Sutton, as well as two bonds with a value of around €45,000 and two bank accounts which had balances totalling €24,500 at the time of Ms Cawley's death.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy found that the joint assets should go to Mr Lillis, but that he should hold one half of them in trust.

The judge said that in the absence of giving the court the power to interfere with the defendant's existing rights to the joint assets, the Court has no such power or jurisdiction.

The judge added that Georgia, understandably wanted finality to be brought to the issue, but she said Court intervention would only be necessary if agreement could not be reached between both sides. An agreement as to how the joint assets would be divided would be the optimum solution.

The family had alleged they had no idea where the rent of the Sutton property had gone since January.

During the hearing, the court was told the effect of Lillis having an interest in the assets, including the family home, would bind two people together in circumstances where Georgia Cawley had said in an affidavit she would rather have "pins stuck in her eyes" than have her father "come within six miles of her home".

Georgia Lillis, in her affidavit, also denied claims by Lillis that she had entered into an agreement with her father that he could return to the family home after his release from prison.

She had only visited him once since he was sent to prison and did not intend to visit him again.

She also expressed her ‘’deep hurt’’ over the actions of her father and said her life would be blighted by her mother's loss.

Georgia Lillis had sought answers from her father over what had happened, but got none and she no longer felt a duty towards him, she said.

Eamonn Lillis did not assert any claim over his late wife's interest in the jointly held assets, but sought a declaration he is entitled to a 50pc share of the said assets.

Lillis expressed his regret over the events leading up the death of his wife.

He said his only concern was for his daughter's welfare and he wanted to maintain as close a relationship as possible with her.

And he claimed his daughter was his "only reason for living".

He was convicted of manslaughter by a jury last year and sentenced to six years and 11 months.

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