Forensic tests continue in brick murder probe

CRUCIAL forensic examinations are continuing into the murder of mother-of-one Celine Cawley, with detectives believing there is still a long way to go in the investigation.

Garda tests on the surrounding garden area where the 46-year-old was bludgeoned to death in her Howth home were still under way yesterday.

The examination of DNA swabs from the film executive’s body are thought to be essential to the inquiry. However, reports that hair samples from her killer were found in Ms Cawley’s hand were not confirmed by gardaí last night.

A Garda spokesman said: “The whole scene, the house, the garden area, are still subject to forensic examination. It is a long way to being a successful conclusion. There’s a lot of talk.”

A postmortem has revealed Ms Cawley died following blunt force trauma to the head, suspected of being caused by a brick.

House-to-house inquiries are continuing in the picturesque Howth Head area, where Ms Cawley’s body was discovered by her husband Eamonn Lillis at their home at Rowan Hill, Windgate Road.

CCTV footage is also being examined from nearby premises, including from a pub and shop. “We are going through the stages. This is the beginning of a long investigation. They [detectives] will have to dig in and build on what they find and work on it,” added the Garda spokesman.

Gardaí would not comment yesterday on whether or not they had ruled out burglary in the inquiry.

Ms Cawley’s husband reported seeing a man in his 20s or 30s fleeing from the attack scene wearing a balaclava. It was reported that Ms Cawley’s husband had been out with his dog and walked in on the intruder and was also attacked.

Ms Cawley, the managing director of Toytown Films, was found in her nightclothes with her body sprawled across the patio in the back garden. The murder weapon, the brick, was found beside her body.

Her company had been involved in television advertising and she had also had a brief part in the Roger Moore James Bond movie, A View to a Kill.

During her youth, Ms Cawley modelled for several international agencies. It is thought she began her fashion career in New York in 1982, initially staying with the Irish family of tennis star John McEnroe.

Gardaí are focusing on the vital half an hour between when Ms Cawley was last seen and when she was found dead at 10am on Monday. Despite reports of an expected quick arrest, gardaí say the investigation is only at an early stage.

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