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Lillis due to meet secret lover on the day of his wife's death

Eamonn Lillis was due to meet the massage therapist with whom he was having an affair on the day his wife died.

The 52-year-old TV advert producer has denied that his wife had found out about the affair, that they had a row and that he had killed her.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard Lillis began the affair with Jean Tracey 10 weeks before his wife's death.

Eamonn Lillis has pleaded not guilty to murdering Celine Cawley at their home at Rowan Hill, Windgate Road, Howth, on December 15, 2008, when their daughter was at school.

The 46-year-old died in hospital of blunt force trauma to the head. Mr Lillis said he found an intruder attacking her on their patio but has since admitted that there was no intruder.

On the day of his arrest for the alleged murder Det Garda Paul Donoghue said Mr Lillis had denied any relationship with Ms Tracey, apart from receiving professional massages from her every Friday.

Garda Donoghue then told Lillis that Ms Treacy had made a statement.

"She said she's been having an affair with you for the past 10 weeks and that she's been in your house three times. She said you were getting a massage in Howth Haven and you asked her what she was thinking," he said. "She took your hand, put it on her pulse and said: 'That's what I'm thinking'."

The next time he went for his massage they kissed in one of the treatment rooms, continued the statement.

"The first time you had sex was in your house on a Monday, her day off. She thinks Celine and your daughter were in London," continued the garda.

Problems

"You bought her a phone and texted everyday. We have the phone."

Mr Lillis made no comment to this or to questions about whether he was happy in his marriage. He then said: "I did have an affair but it has absolutely nothing to do with this," the court was told.

During garda interviews, Mr Lillis agreed he and his wife had some problems but said they had worked them out.

Asked if he was infatuated with Ms Tracey, he replied: "I suppose it was some form of midlife crisis" but he said he would never leave his wife.

Garda Donoghue then told Lillis: "We've a statement from a witness that yours was a sexless marriage and that this suited you both", to which Mr Lillis replied, "Not true".

Mr Lillis admitted he knew Ms Tracey was due to get married in June but said he was not jealous. "I don't do jealous".

Denying he had a row with his wife on the morning of her death, he said: "We've had rows before but nothing like that. I just wouldn't be capable, not to my wife, not to her, not to anyone," he said.

When asked if he loved his wife, he replied: "God, yes."

He said they had a very close relationship both personally and professionally, that she was "a really good friend".

"She was a tower of strength for me really," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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