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Killer to make €350,000 from winding up of couple's firm

EAMONN LILLIS is set to net more than €350,000 from the winding up of the business he ran with his wife Celine Cawley.

Lillis (52) put the couple's successful television advertising company, Toytown Films, into voluntary liquidation shortly after Celine's death in December 2008.

The couple each had a half share in the business. Celine's share passed to her sister, lawyer Susanna Cawley, after she died.

Company documents seen by the Irish Independent reveal that once the company's debts are settled it is expected to have a surplus of €718,000, which can then be distributed to the shareholders.

As Lillis had a half share in the company, it is likely he can expect to receive 50pc of the funds left over.

The surplus is mainly due to the healthy bank balance Toytown had at the time of Celine's death.

The company, which was based at Windmill Lane in Dublin, had €636,000 in its bank accounts, with a further €95,000 cash in hand.


It was also owed almost €18,000 from trade debtors at the time. And further sums, totalling almost €55,000 were expected to be accrued in tax and redundancy refunds. Its total liabilities, including all outstanding bills and liquidator fees, stood at just €91,700.

Liquidator James Clancy did not return calls seeking comment.

Celine's death and the charging of Lillis with her murder meant it was virtually impossible for the company to continue.

Toytown was behind some of the most successful television advertising campaigns of the past decade.

Its clients included Guinness, Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola, the National Lottery, O2 and McDonald's, among other big names.

One of its most memorable advertisements was for Walker's crisps, featuring Roy Keane in a leprechaun suit.

The firm was set up by Celine in 1990 and she was considered the driving force behind its success.

Her father, solicitor James Cawley, and her brother, Christopher, were also directors of the company in the early 1990s, but are no longer involved.

Lillis joined the company in 1992 and has been a director ever since.

Although company documents show they had an equal share, Celine earned much more than him. Lillis's trial heard that his wife's salary was €500,000, while his was just €100,000.

Irish Independent