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Wife killer Lillis wins essay prize

CONVICTED wife killer Eamon Lillis has been putting his talent for tall tales to good use by scooping a prestigious writing competition.

Lillis - who is serving a sentence of just under seven years for the manslaughter of his wife Celine Cawley -- was awarded a top prize by Ireland's leading fiction writers.

It has been revealed that the Wheatfield inmate learned this week that one of his essays scooped an award at the Listowel Writers' Week.

Jail insiders have revealed that the 53-year-old was bragging about the award this week to fellow inmates at the west Dublin prison.

The award comes just weeks after the Herald revealed that Lillis participated in a jail drama for President Michael D Higgins.

He participated in the play, The Happy Prince, which took place in March.

Sources have revealed that Lillis has a great love for English and drama and is spending much of his time in the jail writing.

This week's award was presented as part of the Listowel Writers' Week -- one of the country's most prestigious writing events.

His essay was entered into the short-story competition and scooped the number-one prize.

The organisers confirmed that the competition was part of a "prison education programme" and that they often receive entries anonymously.

The Writers' Week is extremely popular among budding authors and has been promoted in the past by poet Seamus Heaney and well-known author Frank McCourt.

Lillis is serving his manslaughter sentence at the prison after battering mum-of-one Celine Cawley (46) to death on the patio of their plush family home in Howth, north Co Dublin, in December, 2008.