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Celine's French house at centre of battle

A COURT case involving Eamon Lillis and his late wife Celine Crawley's property in France may not be concluded this year.

Celine Cawley's sister Susanna and brother Christopher are seeking orders to prevent Lillis (53) from inheriting a house in south western France.

They believe the couple's joint property in Hossegor should be transferred to their only child, Georgia (18).

The Herald has learned that the judge working on the case had asked lawyers to lodge their arguments no later than last month to reach a verdict.

However, the defence failed to lodge the paperwork required by the Dax High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance de Dax) and was given a month-long extension, but the defence has missed the deadline.

If it fails once again to hand in the papers by the next deadline in early December, there may be a case for one last extension.

If the defence does not meet this third deadline, the judge will have to go ahead and make a verdict.

Susanna and Christopher Cawley, who are joint administrators of Celine Cawley's estates, have taken legal actions against Lillis in France and in Ireland, with Georgia, to prevent him from securing assets that were owned by the couple.

The assets involved include the family home at Rowan Hill, Howth, Co Dublin, and an apartment at Sutton and around €68,000 in investments and bonds.


The High Court heard this week that the market value of the Howth home had been reduced ifrom around €1.1m to between €750,000 to €800,000, while the Sutton property was now worth around €190,000 to €220,000. Lillis (53) was sentenced to six years and 11 months in prison for the manslaughter of Celine (46), who he killed with a brick at their home in Howth in December 2008.

He cannot inherit properties that belonged to his wife alone, because of his conviction. However, he claims that he is still entitled to inherit half of the properties that were in both their names.