Thursday 14 December 2017

Bad-mouthing of Celine began with the prosecution

Victim's cousin tells of a very different woman than the one portrayed as a 'ball-breaker' in court, writes Maeve Sheehan

THERE was nothing dramatic or remarkable in Juliette Hussey's last conversation with her first cousin, Celine Cawley. But in some ways the chat they had about everyday stuff is exactly how Juliette will remember her.

It was the day before Celine was killed by her husband. Celine and Juliette, friends since childhood, always spoke at least once a week and texted each other every other day. On this particular day, Celine was at the stables with her then 16-year-old daughter, who had a passion for ponies. Juliette's conversations with Celine always followed a similar pattern; children, families, plans for get-togethers. These were the things that were important to Celine, as she grew older. That day was no different. "My son had been away and Celine had been asking how he got on. She was at the stables with her daughter at the time," said Juliette. "It was routine normal stuff. The stuff we always talked about."

They said goodbyes, expecting to talk or text again over the following days. The next morning, Celine was killed by her husband, Eamonn Lillis, who on Friday was sentenced to seven years in jail for manslaughter.

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