Killer in desperate bid to hide in prison from media
WIFE-KILLER Eamonn Lillis is so desperate to hide from the glare of publicity that he chose to spend another night in prison.
In a bizarre development, the evil thug yesterday refused to leave Wheatfield Prison despite being granted release a day early.
Lillis is today expected to fly out of the country to stay at his sister's home in southern England.
It is understood that the 57-year-old - who killed his wife Celine Cawley but walks free a millionaire - has booked a plane ticket to fly from Dublin to Southampton this afternoon.
Prison authorities had given him the option of being freed one day early, but in an unprecedented move, he decided to stay in jail.
Sources say he spent part the day working in the prison library.
If he had walked out yesterday as expected it would have been a 'temporary release' until he was officially released today.
Staff had been ready for his departure from shortly after breakfast time yesterday.
He believed that by leaving early he could slip into the shadows after serving just over five years for killing Ms Cawley at their home at Windgate Road, Howth in 2008.
But when Lillis heard that the media were already outside - at both gates - he began to have second thoughts.
After waiting for more than eight hours for Lillis to sign a temporary release form, prison management withdrew the offer.
"The authorities got sick and tired of his pondering all day and cancelled the TR [temporary release] option," said a source. Lillis was returned to his cell for one more night, or at least part of it.
The move meant that he could leave from one minute after midnight this morning or wait to have his final prison breakfast.
His aversion to the media resulted in Lillis withdrawing a request to spend the last year of his sentence - after remission for good behaviour - in an open prison, Shelton Abbey, outside Arklow.
His request had been sanctioned by the prison authorities in May.
There are no prison bars at Shelton, and he could walk out the front gate if he wished.
However, at the last minute Lillis changed his mind when he learnt of the massive media interest in the transfer and the likelihood of reporters trying to catch a glimpse of him in the more relaxed environment.
It's believed that the former TV producer has a fortune of around €1.3m between sums he is due from the wind-up of his wife's company, a pension, and the sale of properties co-owned by the couple.
He fought a legal battle with Celine's family who had wanted the couple's daughter Georgia to inherit all her wealth rather than see the man who killed her profit from her death.
Lillis bludgeoned Ms Cawley to death with a brick on December 15, 2008. Gardai who responded to a 999 emergency call found Lillis standing over his 46-year-old wife's body.
He had originally claimed that an intruder who fled through the back garden had killed the glamorous former Bond girl.
Detectives who grilled him put it to Lillis that an affair he was having with masseuse Jean Treacy was the reason behind the fight with Celine that led to her death. He denied any correlation between the affair and the fight.
Lillis was found guilty in February 2010 of his wife's manslaughter.