herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

Gerry O'Carroll: It's an affront to all that this loathsome man can effectively profit from killing

Eamonn Lillis arrives at Southampton airport after serving his sentence for killing his wife Celine.
Eamonn Lillis arrives at Southampton airport after serving his sentence for killing his wife Celine.
Eamon Lillis
Drug needles on the boardwalk.
Hillary Clinton
Pope Francis

Wife killer Eamonn Lillis was released from Wheatfield Prison last Saturday.

Walking free he became a poster boy for all that's lenient about the Irish criminal justice system.

In February 2010 he had been sentenced to six years and 11 months having been convicted of the manslaughter of his wife Celine at their Howth home in December 2008.

His story is well known. He was originally charged with murder but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

He was entitled to automatic remission of 25pc, meaning Lillis served less than five years and two months for his crime.

suspect

During the initial investigations into his wife's death Lillis told gardai that he had disturbed an intruder at the family home that morning and named a local man as the prime suspect.

He persisted with that cock and bull story right up to the first day of his trial, when he finally admitted that there was no intruder.

He told the jury that he had argued with his wife that morning on the decking in his back garden.

He claimed that they tussled on the ground and that Celine had banged her head in the fight on the window ledge.

The State Pathologist however gave evidence that Celine died as a result of blunt force trauma as a result of being beaten over the head with a brick.

Eamonn Lillis, today a free man, tried to excuse and explain the killing of his wife as some form of accident.

In fact, he is a cold-hearted killer who changed his blood stained clothing after commiting his crime, hiding them in the attic of his house in an effort to avoid detection.

During the trial the State Pathologist stated that Celine might not have died from her injuries if medical help had been summoned more quickly.

So Eamonn Lillis, today a free man, watched his battered wife dying in agony while his only concern was ensuring that he covered up his cowardly and savage crime.

To add insult to injury, having served a paltry sentence for this horrific killing, Lillis walked out of prison a very rich man.

horrendous

During his years in jail he was involved in lengthy litigation to retain his share of the family estate. Lillis is now worth in excess of €1.3m.

We need urgent legislation introduced to prevent killers like him from profiting from their horrendous crimes.

Not before time, the Law Reform Commission is now expected to endorse forthcoming legislation, proposed by Senator Feargal Quinn, that will in the future prevent killers like Lillis from profiting from their crimes.

To date Lillis, enjoying his new life as a free man, has not shown remorse for the death of his innocent wife.

Loathsome as this brutal killer is, it is an affront to society (and a mockery of the law) that killers like Lillis can effectively profit from their evil deeds.

 

Here comes another summer of dodging the hollow-eyed walking dead

NEW stats on the numbers treated for illegal drug use make for shocking reading. They show an alarming increase of over 25pc in people treated for addiction between 2009 and 2013.

More worrying is the doubling in numbers treated in Dublin for abusing benzodiazepines - or 'benzos'.

The figures, from the Health Research Board, show how drug gangs, always the first to see a lucrative market, have moved away from dealing in heroin and cocaine to instead supply benzodiazepines and so-called 'z' drugs, which are, effectively, sedatives.

The figures show that benzodiazepines were involved in 123 overdose deaths, almost 35pc of all drug deaths, in 2012. There is no doubt that the misuse of prescription drugs like these are now a cause of major concern and a problem that needs to be tackled.

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Drug needles on the boardwalk

Government proposals introduced in 2013 to combat and regulate the sale and possession of these drugs are clearly still not being enacted. This deteriorating situation now calls for the appointment of a dedicated junior Drugs Minster.

But away from stats and politics the real anti-social effects of Dublin's benzo scourge are about to become very apparent.

With fine weather on the way, Dublin's residents, workers and tourists face yet another summer of dodging hoards of hollow-eyed, near comatose, walking dead on city streets.

Such ghouls, stoned on these medications, stalk the boardwalks on the Liffey and the streets of the city centre.

It's a menace and it needs to be combated. Are we in for another summer of open drug dealing on city streets?

 

Hillary's taken the first step on  a rough road

POLITICAL survivor Hillary Clinton has finally thrown her hat into the ring in a bid for the Democratic nomination to run for US president in 2016.

It's extraordinary that this 67-year-old still possesses the will and determination to undergo what will be a gruelling election marathon.

Of course, Clinton enters the fray with a commanding lead over other candidates, on all sides. She is a tough and experienced campaigner who narrowly missed out on the Democratic nomination in 2008.

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Hillary Clinton

But she is also a divisive figure in American politics loved and loathed in equal measure - a bit like her husband Bill.

It's very, very early days but I think that she has what it takes to break through the glass ceiling and become the first female US President.

It'll be a rough road to the ultimate prize though.

 

Hero

Pope Francis has had the courage to publicly condemn the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in the First World War.

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Pope Francis

Successive Turkish governments have tried to whitewash these killings as linked to civil war and unrest. Francis called it for what it was - the first genocide of the 20th century. The truth will always out.

 

Zero

A 65-YEAR-OLD grandmother, Annegret Raunigk is set to become the oldest woman in the world to have quadruplets. She already has 13 children by five different fathers. Most people will find it inexplicable that she’s pregnant at all. The whole thing seems to be some sort of bizarre publicity stunt.

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