Monday 23 October 2017

Lillis 'has €1m but gave daughter nothing'

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE family of Celine Cawley, the businesswoman killed by her husband Eamon Lillis, has claimed he has access to almost €1m but has made no provision for his teenage daughter.

Susanna Cawley, the sister of Ms Cawley and one of two executors of her estate along with her brother Christopher, objected to Lillis (53) benefiting financially from any joint assets he held with his wife.

They claimed that Lillis failed to put in place any financial, domestic or other arrangements for his daughter, resulting in utilities being disconnected in the former luxury family home.

Lillis is engaged in a contentious legal battle over the proceeds of part of Ms Cawley's estate.

He is battling to hold on to his former €1.5m mansion where he killed his wife in December 2008 -- but denies that money drove him to kill his wife.

Anyone convicted of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter is precluded from taking any share in the estate of their victim.


However, a major battle is looming over the distribution of assets, including property that Lillis jointly owned with Ms Cawley, that fall outside of her estate.

Susanna Cawley said in court filings lodged ahead of a High Court hearing later this month that she believed Lillis had invested €400,000 which he had not disclosed to the courts and had failed to provide for his daughter.

She also claimed that Lillis had access to monies in joint accounts after his wife's death and stated that up to €66,000 was "dissipated".

The Cawleys claimed Lillis also received €345,000 as a result of the couple's jointly-owned production company Toytown Films being wound down following Ms Cawley's death, leaving Lillis with some €800,000 in total.

Lillis revealed how he was "plagued with guilt" and struggling to adapt to life in prison which he described as "a very difficult and alien world".

"There was never any question that the events leading to my wife's death were motivated by financial reasons," said Lillis in court filings ahead of a High Court hearing later this month.

"I have no peace of mind as the immense burden of guilt and remorse remains with me."

Lillis, who was jailed earlier this year after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter, said his only concern was to rebuild a relationship with the couple's only daughter, who turns 18 this month.

Irish Independent

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