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Sisters put their lives on hold to make show of support

IN marked contrast to the mass show of solidarity by the Cawley family, Eamonn Lillis had only his two sisters to rely upon for support.

His parents, Seamus, a commandant in the army; and Margaret, a home economics teacher, who lived in Terenure, are long dead.

And there was no question that Lillis would ever put his own young daughter through the distress of coming along to court to sit through the evidence.

So it was his sisters, Carmel and Elaine, two respectable-looking ladies in their 50s with blonde bobbed hair who had put their own lives in England on hold in order to come to Dublin to attend the trial every day and support their brother.

Stoutly oblivious to the media frenzy that marked both their arrival and departure from court every day, they flanked their brother throughout the entire ordeal.

It was interesting to note that unlike many family tragedies such as this, there was no visible gulf between the two sides.

Though the families did not sit together in court, Celine Cawley's sister Susanna was spotted quietly talking to the Lillis women in the lobby of the Criminal Courts complex.


During the course of the trial, it was obvious that Carmel and Elaine Lillis found certain sections of the hearing extremely difficult.

Though reserved and never showing obvious emotion, they both observed, with hand over mouth, the heavily blood-stained clothes found in the attic of the home on Windgate Road in Howth.

And when Eamonn Lillis took the witness stand, it was the most difficult point of the whole trial for his sisters.

Irish Independent