herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Wife killer Eamonn Lillis arrives at Dublin airport to leave Ireland: 'I have served my time'

Convicted killer Eamonn Lillis has walked free from prison after serving five years for his wife Celine Cawley’s death.

The 57-year-old was collected from jail by a maroon-coloured taxi, having served 1,888 days as Prisoner 55511.

Emerging at 9.40am, Lillis - wearing a grey top - sat in the back seat and made no attempt to hide his face.

He carried with him one small bag, glanced towards the gate where waiting media were gathered, and got into the taxi.

He did not stop to speak to reporters and his taxi was chased by a fleet of media in waiting cars.

Lillis arrived at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 at approximately 11.30am.

When he got out of the taxi, he was met by another scrum of reporters.

Dressed in an off-white hoody, Lillis – who appeared to have lost weight during his time behind bars – appeared angry and defiant and said “I have served my time” as he was peppered by questions as he walked through the main doors of the terminal and straight to the security gates.

It is understood Lillis is en route to England to stay with his sister.

Lillis was jailed in 2010 for the manslaughter of Ms Cawley, who died after sustaining three blows to the head on the back patio of their luxury home in Howth, north Dublin, in December 2008.

The successful ad producer was attacked with a brick.

Lillis, who was having an affair with masseuse Jean Treacy when he killed his wife, initially fabricated a story that a burglar was in the home when he came back from walking the family dog.

Lillis was found by Gardai standing over the former Bond girl's body after they responded to a 999 call.

It was only after he was charged with murder that the then 52-year-old told his teenage daughter and his lover that he had had a violent row with his wife.

After a 14 day trial in February 2010 Lillis was sentenced to six years and 11 months in prison, but with good behaviour and remission taken into account he has already walked free from Wheatfield Prison, Clondalkin.

The TV advertising producer is expected to spend a few days in Ireland before jetting to France or Spain.

The convicted killer can also look forward to a €1.3m stash in his bank account, all of which has been netted since his wife’s death.

The money includes his share from the sale of their palatial Howth home, €358,505 from the liquidation of his wife’s television production company, €131,500 from the sale of an investment apartment they owned in Sutton and about €22,000 in investment bonds.

The couple’s daughter Georgia and Celine’s brother and sister have fought and lost a High Court case to prevent him from getting half of the couple’s joint assets since his imprisonment.

When sentencing, trial judge Barry White had the only half decent thing Lillis did was call the emergency services after he injured Ms Cawley.

But before that Lillis took time to hide clothes in the attic and make up a story about a burglary. He even pointed the finger of suspicion at an innocent man in the locality.

He said he knew his wife was bleeding at the time but did not think she was seriously injured and that they’d both decided to make up the story about a burglar to protect their teenage daughter.

It is understood that during his time in prison Lillis built up a friendship with fellow wife killer Brian Kearney.

He was involved in many courses in Wheatfield, including French, Spanish and yoga.

He was also well known for indulging in poetry and short stories.

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